I put off writing this review for a week. I went back and forth trying to figure out how to convey my thoughts on this book to my readers and viewers. I don’t know what else to do besides just say it.
Noumenon is the most frustrating book I have ever finished.
Finished is a keyword in the statement. Over the years I have read books so bad that I stopped and deleted them from my kindle. Some of the things which will cause me to put a book down are many spelling and grammar mistakes, verbosity verging on absurdity and having a character speak to the reader randomly. This book didn’t have any of those offenses. Honestly, Noumenon was written beautifully. My issue was the story.
Noumenon has way too much crammed into one book. This book could easily have been 3 or 4 separate books. The beginning starts interesting enough. A scientist see’s a star doing something strange a wins the change for an expedition to go check it out. The journey will be longer than a human lifetime, so it was decided to use clones. The clones set out to live for generations aboard Convoy Seven. Generation ship stories done right are very good reads. For example, Ben Bova’s Exiles Trilogy is three books centered around a generation ship.
Marina J. Lostetter says in the description of the book it is a series of vignettes chronicling the lives and journey. It doesn’t work well. In any good book, there must be a story arc ending with some emotional release. Sometimes the release is joy and happy tears. Other times the Kindle gets thrown across the room, and I’m in a bad mood for a week. Either way, there is a conclusion to the build.
Noumenon is the equivalent of finding Walley World closed in National Lampoons Vacation. This book is the literary equivalent of sitting in traffic on the way to work only to find the door chained and an out of business sign on the door. The disappointment doesn’t stop there. When you get back into your car, it won’t start. It is too far to walk anywhere, and your cell phone is dead. You live in your car for days eating leftover french fries found under the seat only to finally remember you have to jiggle the key sometimes to start your car. Elated, you leave the office an pull out into dead stop traffic. After hours and hours, you finally get home only to find no one had even noticed you were gone.
Yes, Noumenon is a crazy emotional rollercoaster with absolutely no satisfaction.
The crazy part is I believe some of you will love this book; it has moments of brilliance. The AI character I.C.C is an anchor throughout and the way Lostetter develops it over hundreds of years works well. Many of the personal stories of the crew are very well done. I particularly like how the clones cope with their changing society. Lostetter tackles crime and civil unrest in an exciting way.
Like I said before, it is way too much for one book. When the story gets interesting, it jumps 10-20-50 years. Not to mention eventually they have to go back to earth. I almost cried. I couldn’t take another half-book on a road trip. Mercifully it jumped most of the way home. Either that or I skipped the pages.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this book. I have no idea the time or effort put into writing a book. However, I’m sure it’s significant. It pains me to tell you not to buy this book and support the author.
I did give Marina a quick google, and she has produced other books. https://lostetter.wordpress.com/. If you feel inclined, give one of her other books a read and drop me a comment.
Maybe my clone will like this book more,