Author: Seb Doubinsky
Release Date: 8/29/18
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian
From Seb Doubinsky, author of The Song of Synth, The Babylonian Trilogy, White City, Absinth, Omega Gray, and Suan Ming, comes his highly anticipated next installment in the City-States Cycle. Missing Signal—a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a government conspiracy? Agent Terrence Kovacs has worked for the New Petersburg Counter-Intel Department propagating fake UFO stories for so long that even he has a hard time separating fact from fiction. Especially when he’s approached by a beautiful woman named Vita, who claims she’s been sent from another planet to liberate Earth.
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946154113
This book was very abstract, but it fit the theme of the novel. Terrence knows he has been faking UFO stories, and it has been messing with his mindset as he struggles to separate fact from fiction. This is how the story is written, almost like someone who is losing touch with realities. Some chapters are about the past, some are about the present, and some seem to be completely in Terrence’s head.
The story did not flow very smoothly, as the chapters were written as they did, but this did not mean that the story was bad. Instead, the readers felt just as confused as Terrance was as he went about his day to day life, trying to figure out which of the made-up stories were his and wondering what went wrong in his life. He is a very lonely character, so he spends a lot of time in his head. The story is all from one point of view, but the point of view is flawed, so the readers get to see the world through the eyes of that flawed person. It was truly a very unique way to tell a story!
This book had some elements that reminded me of the book 1984, especially as they started to talk about falsifying news reports. I love to see different science fiction novels have similar storylines but still put their own unique twist on that particular event.
I wanted to learn more about Vita, but as this story is told from a flawed perspective, we can only read what Terrence’s confused mind tells us. Sometimes I thought that we would get to learn more about Vita, but then he would go off on a tangent and start discussing his past again. He was truly not in a good state, and the readers could see this as they tried to make sense of what he was saying.
The only thing that I disliked about this book was the ending. Even though this book was short, I felt that it ended too abruptly, and I was left feeling confused. This could have been a point that the novel was trying to make, but I just ended up missing it entirely. If the ending wasn’t so abrupt and had instead tried to tie up some of the ends left loose throughout the story through Terrence’s flawed storytelling, I would have definitely rated this book 5 out of 5 stars. Nevertheless, the ending was a little disappointing, so I took a star off.
Other than that, this book was a wonderful science fiction read, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new mysterious adult sci-fi novel.
I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Seb Doubinsky is a bilingual writer born in Paris in 1963. His novels, all set in a dystopian universe revolving around competing cities-states, have been published in the UK and in the USA. He currently lives with his family in Aarhus, Denmark, where he teaches at the university.