I received this copy from the publisher through Netgalley.com and that in no way has influenced my opinion in regards to this review.
This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.tumblr.com by express permission of this reviewer.
Author: Timothy Zahn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Dr. Adrian Sommers lost his 5 year old son in a car accident and is convinced that if he could have had more time, he could have saved his son.
That idea turns into a full blown obsession and Sommers invents a device that can be a holding tank for the soul until the body can be healed and the soul returned.
Each chapter shows a different aspect of the implications of such a device.
In many ways, this is the book I have been waiting for from Zahn. Something that is science fiction’y but so theologically and philosophically laced that you can’t help but reflect on the implications of what the author is writing about.
Now, Zahn’s Mormonism shows through in how he presents the idea of what a soul is and so I deducted a half star because I really disagree on this and I think it is important. It didn’t detract from the overall story though and if you’re not too worried about things like that, you probably won’t be bothered by this much at all.
The chapters were very reminiscent of old Asimov stories, as each chapter was a snapshot in time of one particular incident. In one sense this novel was a series of short stories that happened to all be about the same subject. I really like short stories when they are done right and most of these were done right.
So overall, I really enjoyed this book. It made me think, even if just to figure out where and why I disagreed with Zahn and it presented some really good questions about ethics, morality and what is life.
I did take off a star because I thought the idea of the “airtight” security rather laughable. If it exists, someone somewhere can hack it, steal it or copy it. Reverse engineering might take years, but this book covers almost 20 years and the rewards would be astronomical.
And secondly, the ending was so deus-ex machina that I quite literally rolled my eyes. Inserted code can be found, no matter how cleverly hidden. The next generation is always producing a smarter genius *smiles*
But once again, Zahn produces a book that I can thoroughly enjoy and recommend whole heartedly.