Greg Bear: Darwin’s Radio
by Greg Bear
This is a straight sci-fi, something that I haven’t read in a while. Even the Stardoc series, while being sci-fi rather than fantasy, had the romance element in it as well to make it more along the lines of “my usual reads.” But Darwin’s Radio is a sci-fi, and a plot-driven one. If you like character-driven fiction, you will quite possibly find yourself getting very bogged down somewhere in the middle.
The plot itself is interesting, don’t get me wrong. It is well thought-out, and though there are some elements of it that I think are implausible, that is one of the hazards of sci-fi. There will always be someone who disagrees on what is likely to happen in the future. I don’t have a problem with the parts I found implausible – they were a part of the story, and for the author’s vision, they worked. The problem I have is that I felt no connection to the characters. None. There are plenty of places to, as well. One of the main characters nearly dies on the ice, another loses her husband in a rather icky way. The third is caught in a terrorist’s bomb, and nearly killed. And I didn’t care. About any of it. Not my type of fiction.
I did finish the book, in part to see what happens in the storyline. But I didn’t finish it because I cared what happened to the characters. For those who don’t care if their fiction is character-driven or not, this is a good book to pick up. But if you want a connection to the characters in order to get caught up in a book, I’d give this one a pass.