Sunrise: Paul Stephenson
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Science fiction/horror based books will always have to contend with the heaviest of hitters. We’re talking The Thing, Alien and even Event Horizon – the books and movies that defined the 1980’s and 90’s for a lot of horror fans out there.
I like to add a few sci-fi/horror books into the fold throughout the year, simply to break up the haunted house and werewolf narratives and it’s rare that a very brand-new-to-me author delivers a book that I keep diving into when it’s sci-fi/horror. In fact the last two have been Joseph Sale and Michael Morar respectively. Paul Stephenson came flying out of the gate with ‘Sunrise.’
What I liked: like many sci-fi/horror books, this one starts in one location and ends in another. We open up in a space ship heading towards a distant planet and it doesn’t take long for us to learn about how Earth is dying and that AI is a bad thing – since some went rogue. This becomes the opening conflict – the programmed AI on the ship has re-written some code and Stephenson soon begins to examine the interpersonal relations and complexities that result because of small decisions that have bigger ramifications. This one could be read as a stand alone but the ending definitely will make many readers long for part two to arrive.
What I didn’t like: as well, with many sci-fi/horror mash-ups, we are quickly introduced to a lot of characters and I always find it hard to remember who is who and why each person is reacting like they are. It flattens out shortly, but this can, at times, be the reason for folks DNFing these cross-over books.
Why you should buy it: Did you see the books/movies I listed previously? Did you enjoy any of them? Then don’t be a sci-fi/horror book snob. The horror community at times can feel like the heavy metal world, where people hate bands simply because it’s not purely chugga-chugga- growl-growl. Same with horror. This book whipped along and Stephenson writes the characters lean and true, making for some fantastically done action sequences, all the while retaining that claustrophobic feeling you need with outer space based books. I had a blast and I think you will too!
Plague. Murder. Unrest. Humanity’s future looks far from bright.
The year is 2107, and Earth is dying. For Wyn, Lois, and Judd, that’s the least of their problems.
Wyn is the pilot on the ISS Minos. It’s mission: a race to the ice moon of Europa to cure the disease destroying humanity’s crops. But she’ll have to overcome dark secrets from her past and darker secrets on the ice to find out which of the crew is trying to stop them. If she doesn’t, humanity is doomed.
Lois is an Interpol agent investigating the world’s biggest company. But when her handler is murdered in the street, the road to justice holds a mystery that could change Earth’s destiny.
Judd is hiding as far away from humanity as he can, working in a cheap tourist attraction on the Moon. But when an old man pries a long-forgotten secret out of his head, he can no longer hide from the truth he’d buried even from himself. Because Judd is a telepath, and a weapon badly wanted by both sides of an unseen war.
Each holds a key to Earth’s cure and humanity’s survival in this first book in The Sunset Chronicles, the new sci-fi horror thrill-ride from Paul Stephenson, author of the bestselling British horror saga, Blood on the Motorway.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of three novels, a number of novellas and four collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
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