Stranded by Bracken MacLeod

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Opening Sentence: The void churned and swelled, reaching up to pull them down into frigid darkness, clamoring to embrace them, every one.

First off let me just say that I am very disappointed in myself. It not only took me five days to finish an interesting book of 300 pages, but also another lazy week before I got down to writing it’s review. This book deserves better than that so I apologize.

Stranded is a story about a crew who wake up to find themselves having frozen in place overnight with no credible explanation for it and no idea of their location or means of communication to find out. The protagonist, Noah Cabot, finds himself stuck on board a ship with a small crew,most of whom dislike him, under the command of his father-in-law who openly loathes him. A lot of the story revolves around how the relationships of the crew affect each other in a critical and often life threatening situation.
This was a strange story, to say the least, I was all weirded out. It was sometimes philosophical and sometimes took little forays into the psychological, not all of which I understood. But considering how the story played out in a way that left me with more questions than it answered, I’m guessing that’s exactly what the writer intended to happen. I did appreciate that despite all of that, there were absolutely no unnecessary ramblings in the book as fillers to prolong the story.
There were certain things I didn’t appreciate in the book. One of which was that it left me with more questions than it answered. The other thing was that the characters were sometimes frustrating and sometimes downright unreasonable in a way that made them seem childish. It often felt like reading about an episode of schoolyard bullying rather than a case of adults caught in a seriously hazardous situation where one would think dealing with a problem is more important than letting your personal differences and opinions get the best of you. Then again it were those disputes that ultimately led to the climax. Which, by the way, I found to be kind of abrupt.
I did like that the writer was bold enough to venture into the genre of science fiction without letting the answer for a way to explain it all get in the way of telling a good story.
Overall it was an interesting read. Since it’s not something that will take days and days of reading to get through, I would recommend picking this up if you’re looking for a quick thrill read.

1. One followed another in a black parade of bad choices and disappointments, sides taken and moments you can never get back, or take back, lost in time, every day adding another regret to a sore and bent conscience. (pg. 97)
2. He never gave much thought to what was real and what wasn’t, because reality was solid and constant, and the difference between a dream and waking was a bright line, easily seen. (pg. 200)
3. Someone moves and promises they’ll keep in touch but eventually the best you can do is occasionally click a thumbs-up or an emoji on some social media page and keep scrolling. (pg. 218)
4. If you’ve been shot, what good does it do to ask who sold the bullet? Find a doctor. (pg. 219)

View all my reviews

Here is the little painting I made inspired from the book.



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