Aurora – Kim Stanley Robinson

“Freya and her father go sailing.”

After generations have lived and died aboard the ship, Freya’s generation will be the ones to finally make it to Aurora: the planet chosen to be mankind’s first outpost beyond the solar system. That is, if they can keep the ship running for the last few years of the journey – both mechanically, and biologically, as ‘island devolution’ starts to affect everything on board, from bacteria and plants to mammals and the human pioneers.

Despite ‘book of the year’-type reviews, or perhaps because of too-high expectations generated by them, I really wasn’t that fussed over Aurora. I found the pacing rather odd, going from a very human-level exploration of life in such a closed system, to the challenges faced by finally reaching the destination they’ve been so long chasing. And then… well, I can’t really say any more, except I really wasn’t as intrigued as I would have expected.

Other reviewers talk about falling in love with the narrator, but again I just wasn’t that enthralled – in fact, I found it a bit irritating when we went off on some philosophical musing. Nor did I empathise overly much with the characters, who might do some interesting things, but ultimately I wasn’t fully convince by any of the development (or lack thereof).

Overall, I just found this to be a bit sprawling, trying to zoom in on some elements before zooming off again to try and encapsulate some ‘big picture’ that didn’t strike any real chords with me. Meh.

Paperback: 466 pages / 7 chapters
First published: 2015
Series: none
Read from 27th November – 19th December 2016

My rating: 6/10

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