I started Pock’s World (Science Fiction 250 pages) by Dave Duncan yesterday and finished it today.
“Pock’s World, long settled by humankind, is accused of being infected by humanoid aliens. It has been quarantined and may have to be sterilized. Five people are chosen to go there and examine the evidence: saintly but ruthless Father Andre; Ratty Turnsole, muckraking reporter ripe for romance; ambitious politician Athena Fimble; manipulative bureaucrat Millie Backet; and shady billionaire Linn Lazuline. They all have their own agendas. Pock’s World surprises them all. Nothing is what they expect. Quickly entangled in love, politics, religion, and deceit, they discover that the clock is already ticking.”
This is a book that’s been on my shelf for a number of years and I’m glad that I finally took the time to read it, if for no other reason than to reduce the number of books that I own that I haven’t read yet.
The book was intriguing with several times where I was taken off-guard by some of the random events and it was clear from the very beginning that there was a lot more going on than I was catching. There was a lot of politics involved in the story and I have a healthy respect for authors who can pull of the political intrigue within their storylines.
Even feeling that there was more going on than I could see, I didn’t really feel the need to invest more of myself in the story than necessary. I didn’t care about any of the characters and was only interested in some of the deaths because I didn’t see them coming, but not because I cared at all about any of the characters.
I think, for me, this is a book where sometimes the science got in the way of the story. I can’t tell you how many times DNA and reproduction and things of that nature came up. I mean, I get it, it’s a story about genetic manipulation, but that doesn’t mean that every single doctor or specialist needs to go into detail about what happens when certain chromosomes get removed or replaced or whatever. I’m not a scientist or a bio-engineer or anything even remotely close to that so these sections when they were repeated were more annoying than anything.
I don’t really have much else to say about this book. I was hoping for something more along the lines of space adventure and less politics. I think I would rate this book as a two. I’m unlikely to read it again but it was interesting.