Friday, September 7, 2012
Review: Orb by Gary Tarulli
Self Published, November 2011
Genre: Science Fiction
Format Read: Kindle
Three months outbound from Earth and the starship Desio approaches its planetary destination, her crew eager to commence a mission of scientific discovery. Kyle Lorenzo, however, has a personal reason for being on board--an inner conflict that will ultimately propel him to explore not only the furthest reaches of an enigmatic ocean world but the nebulous recesses of his inner psyche.
It is during the long and isolating interstellar journey that a physical relationship develops between Kyle and the ship's physician, Kelly Takara. That part is easy. Understanding the reasons for avoiding the emotional commitment desired by Kelly is harder. So, too, is trying to penetrate the mind of Larry Melhaus, the mission's brilliant and reclusive physicist--a failure of communication made exponentially more troublesome when the scientist's disturbing behavior begins to threaten the crew.
And while Kyle seeks a path to comprehending himself and Melhaus, the ship's crew, led by their strong-willed commander, Bruce Thompson, attempt to fathom a planet where none of the precepts of science seem to apply. A world where every preconceived notion of what constitutes life must be re-examined and challenged.
Two divergent journeys: One inward, one outward.
Strange if they culminate at the same destination...
I rather enjoyed the set-up of this novel. The narrator, Kyle, is a writer chosen for a space mission over the objections of the scientists who believe that literature is no longer relevant. The motivations of the group setting up the mission become clear later in the story. It was fascinating to see space travel from the perspective of a character that is a writer. I loved the details of the new planet and how it affects the crew.
The plot build up of Orb is slow and depends more on the growth and development of the characters but the climax is sufficiently action-packed for the tastes of most readers. I found the insights into human nature and the reactions to completely alien environments to be both intriguing and engaging.
I would definitely recommend Orb to other science fiction readers. Just be prepared for a slow build to a satisfying conclusion. I wouldn't read Orb if you are in the mood for an action packed adventure but it was definitely an enjoyable read.
Orb on Amazon
Website for Orb