June 9th, 2008

ariel beaming

2008 Books #29: Kethani, by Eric Brown

I just picked this up on Saturday, and I devoured it on Sunday. From the back cover:

When a mysterious alien race known as the Kethani make contact with the people of Earth they bring with them the dubious gift of eternal life.

Honestly, they had me at "mysterious alien race." With the rest added, it was like a chance to bathe in ambrosia.

Now, with my expectations set that high, it's a sign of excellence that the book lived up to it with few things that seemed odd. I have identified the main thing that mildly bothers me about the book, and I can't say what it is without revealing the ending. I can say that it's a characteristic of the narrator's voice, because the narrator knows how the story ends. The narrator is written exactly right for where he ends up, btw, and it would have been an extremely different book if the author had chosen another approach; I can't say that it would have been better another way. Therefore, I can't be terribly judgmental about it.

I love books about human-race-altering events, and although I disagree with some of the author's conclusions about what would happen in this scenario, I still think the the novel is one of the most interesting alien contact novels I've read in a long time. I'd recommend it to anyone, even those who don't usually read science fiction, because of the societal issues it covers. And it's going on my list of favorite books!