First off, I know this isn’t the review I promised. But I’m about halfway through Moby Dick and will have it up soon I promise you.
So this was the very first book I’ve ever read in full on my Kindle, and I believe it was also independently published by Amazon given that it came with no other publisher references.
Generally speaking, Lacuna is a fairly decent novel. Great moral and use of science. Like any good sci-fi novel, it ticks the basic boxes set out many, many years ago by various sci-fi authors who all had great, solid, and optimistic ideas about what the future would actually look like. You had the daring captain, the love interest, the creepy alien, the battleship, and the pitched battles as one side fought the other in a challenge of good versus evil. But, in spite of these elements, Lacuna was missing a few key ingredients that usually make a good sci-fi a great one. As a veteran sci-fi reader and writer, these omissions stood out like a TARDIS in the middle of a corn field to me. It also made me mourn for the novel; it has so much potential, but never quite reached out and grasped it.
First of all, Lacuna largely lacked in believability and plot coherence. But Admiral, I hear you say, it’s a sci-fi it’s not supposed to be believable! Perhaps you’re right, but as with every kind of novel one must always be able to suspend their belief in the real world, so that the fictional one can take over. This is where Lacuna left me sour. I kept trying to find points to redeem it on, but whenever I found one ten other points defamed it. The characters were all larger than life, and in some cases acted in very unpredictable ways which often left me confused and slightly worried for their sanity. Other characters were forgotten about, and sometimes fell victim to the common writers problem of giving a side character too much importance in proportion to their role in the novel. Some of them were just plain obnoxious, and could have done with a long walk out of a short docking bay.
The plot itself would often jump from point to point, often without any preface or explanation, and I felt that it had a lot of room to grow and provide more points of interest for the readers. In terms of believability and coherence, it was straight up, out of this world fiction. The kind where the science is so advanced that it seems impossible, and the kind where the way the story unfolds can often raise more questions than it answers.
Readability was one of the great things about Lacuna. Even though the plot was haywire and the characters were overly real, I still found myself wanting to find out what happened next. Driven by curiosity more than anything, I suppose.
If I were to say one thing about Lacuna, it would be that firstly it’s a book that tries to be something that it just can’t quite get to. But, that said, it is also a book that has a nice chunky moral to it, and in spite of itself it teaches you something. That something is that one should never take the unknown for granted, because maybe – just maybe – it can show you something that you never thought possible. And that’s where the magic lies.
So until the next review.
Don’t stop reading!