Books Science Fiction

A Learning Experience – A bit different but fun reading

A Learning ExperienceA Learning Experience by Christopher Nuttall
My rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Earth is not alone. There is a towering civilisation out in the galaxy, far greater than anything we can imagine. But we are isolated from the galaxy … until now.

When a bunch of interstellar scavengers approach Earth, intending to abduct a few dozen humans and sell them into slavery in the darkest, they make the mistake of picking on Steve Stuart and his friends, ex-military veterans all. Unprepared for humans who can actually fight, unaware of the true capabilities of their stolen starships, the scavengers rapidly lose control of the ship – and their lives.

To Steve, the captured starship represents a great opportunity, one to establish a new civilisation away from Earth and its increasingly oppressive bureaucracy. But with the aliens plotting their revenge and human factions suspicious of the new technology, it will be far from easy to create a whole new world …

I would say that this book is a bit different. It is not the usual adventure book about a bunch of humans that discover that aliens do exist, get hold of some alien tech, and boldly goes on an adventure into space. Well, it is a bit of that but it is also quite a bit a political story about breaking free from the Earth and the existing governments and creating a whole new nation.

Normally I do not like books with too much political slant in them but I have to say that I found this one rather enjoyable to read. It of course helps that I share much of the main characters aversion for bureaucratic over-sized governments. Everyone gets a bit of the ire in this book but I cannot help to be particular found of the slapping the European Community and United Nations get. I live in the middle of that mess as well as work for an international organization and as far as I am concerned the useless and disconnected-from-reality assholes in Brussels and Geneva deserves all the trashing they get. But I am digressing.

As usual the book is quite well written and the characters are well done and fun to follow. The rather far out “hey let’s make our own state” idea that just goes from crazy idea to reality is…well crazy but also a wee bit different as well as fun reading. Parts that I quite liked are when Steve and his friends take down the ignorant government agents and in general the “surprise effects” from the advanced technology he has acquired.

One criticism would be that it is all done a bit naively, simplistically and way to fast. Personally I think the book could have been a lot longer, or the story split over several books. Some things just feel rushed and glossed over. Although I can also understand that the author must cater for a reasonably wide audience and not all people like long detailed books.

So far I have quite liked all the books from Mr. Nuttall that I have read. This one is probably somewhere in the middle of the bunch. If a sequel comes out I will surely pick it up but there are other sequels from this author that I am looking forward to more eagerly.

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