Sunborn by Jeffrey A Carver

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Sunborn is the fourth book in Carver’s Chaos Chronicles and for me this series gets better with each book. It’s a little hard to categorise these books; there is a lot of technology that is so far advanced as to fall into Clarke’s definition of alien magic but most of the science that is almost understandable falls into leading edge but still not fully understood real science like dark matter and brane theory, providing plausible uses of these as yet unproven and poorly understood concepts. So does that make it hard science fiction or fantasy? Carver himself describes it as “out on the ragged edge of what most people consider hard science fiction.” And I think I’ll go with that!

Bandicutt and his three alien companions and two uplifted robot companions have been swept away to a distant part of the galaxy near the Great Orion Nebula and there they have been ‘volunteered’ for another mission, this time involving sentient stars that need saving from non-organic intelligences with the aid of some multidimensional beings.

Carver’s writing is really very good; he develops all his characters well and gives us enough science to make things plausible without swamping the lay reader with too much detail. Sometimes I do find the behaviour of some of the characters a little unlikely but then again, they are alien… He continues to inject a scattering of humour mainly through the two robots who undoubtedly owe at least a little to C-3PO and R2-D2, for which I am prepared to forgive him as they are never made into quite such cartoon characters as those two! The pacing is good, and the action keeps driving the story on throughout.

All in all, a very good book and I’m rather glad that what had originally been intended to be, I believe, just three books has ended up as six. I’m very much looking forward to the final two.

4/5 stars
 

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