October 5, 2015
Children of the Comet, by Donald Moffitt
In the far future, on top of a gigantic tree rooted in the ice ball of a comet, a young man s journey leads to unexpected encounters In this brand-new cosmic adventure by the author of “The Genesis Quest” and “The Jupiter Theft,” Torris, son of the Facemaker, knows only his small community at the base of the great Tree on a comet with almost no gravity or atmosphere. Torris s daily struggle for survival includes harvesting frozen air to keep breathing, dodging flutterbeasts, and hunting meatbeasts for food. When it comes time to make his vision quest to the top of the Tree, Torris is completely unprepared for what he finds: first, a thieving and hostile fellow quester; then, Ning, a female hunter from a neighboring tree-bearing comet, who has catapulted across empty space in search of food to save her family; and ultimately, alien visitors in a massive starship that has spent billions of years crossing the galaxy. Shocked at the cultural differences between his home and Ning s and stunned by the changes precipitated by the arrival of the spaceship, Torris must learn quickly, adapt even faster, and face an uncertain and rapidly changing future unlike anything he has ever imagined.
When I see an Open Road Media title on NetGalley, I usually click-through to the description. They have varied genres and stories, and I appreciate a story that defies the norms. Often, I’m disappointed, but sometimes, like with Children of the Comet, I find something worth reading that I might not have otherwise read.
The separate timelines in this story were at times difficult to follow. I found myself enjoying the Neolithic storyline, and not really caring about the futuristic space opera storyline. I can’t point to a specific fault with the SO storyline – it just wasn’t jiving with me.
The Neolithic story was excellent. I found the nuances of the culture and the not-quite steampunkness to be a lot of fun. A few of the characters were cardboard cutouts, but overall the characterization, especially the male and female protagonists to be excellent.
If I were to rate the storylines separate, I’d give Neolithic four stars, and SO three stars. Three and a half stars is still a decent sci-fi.
Donald Moffitt was born in Boston and now lives in rural Maine with his wife, Ann, a native of Connecticut. A former public relations executive, industrial filmmaker, and ghostwriter, he has been writing fiction on and off for more than twenty years under an assortment of pen names, including his own, chiefly espionage novels and adventure stories in international settings. His first full-length science-fiction novel and the first book of any genre to be published under his own name was The Jupiter Theft (Del Rey, 1977).