HUGE sci-fi read. Like … the book takes place on another planet! I’m not a fan of sci-fi at all but this thriller was very well layered and full of suspense. It’s a classic ‘good versus evil’ story with some galactic flare, if you couldn’t tell from the awesome cover.
The story follows the female protagonist Qualia as she is forced to make difficult decisions regarding life on Earth and research in Mars. She is a smart and dedicated scientist who’s suffered through years of pain but still remains on task. Qualia is only forced to suffer more pain when a miraculous child, the first human born on the planet Mars, is kidnapped by a corrupt scientist.
Qualia is stuck between a rock and a hard place, should she risk it all to perform another port and try to save this child? Or sit back and wait the destruction that’s soon to come?
When I say this book is a huge sci-fi read I also mean the length of the story. It’s almost 150k words strong. I know sci-fi and fantasy can go on and on but this one felt like it could be a little shorter. Like maybe 50k words shorter. Wolf has created something I’ve really never heard of before, there’s instantaneous travel—down to the cellular level. We have planet hopping, slowing down time, and ports and chambers and a BUNCH of other things. This is definitely a complex book and its layered fairly well but so much of it is just explaining things.
I felt like since there was so much creativity and originality the actual flow of the story suffered somewhat. There are paragraphs and paragraphs of details that just explain the futuristic technology, while this is pretty much necessary it still takes away from what’s happening in the actual plot.
Other than that, I’d say it was a solid book. This is beyond hard science fiction, it gives Star Trek a run for its money and it only focuses on a few characters.
Qualia is definitely a good character, she takes the lead well and is crafted in a way that makes it easy for readers to not only relate to her but to understand her. I liked Qualia’s name and found her character to be intriguing. I won’t necessarily call her a strong female but she’s someone who can hold her own ground. Overall, character development and growth was done very well. The dialogue was very good, there was a sense of urgency where there needed to be and the conversations held between characters were very realistic and sometimes emotional. There weren’t pages and pages of worthless discussions, interactions between characters were believable and helped push their development as well as carry the plotline.
I’m not a fan of sci-fi but I did enjoy the world building in this book. I know I complained about the lengthy explanations but some of it was necessary and well worded. I felt a little confused at times but, for the most part, the book was a fine read stuffed with all the info I needed to progress from beginning to end. Q-cave is highly imaginative and full of spectacular thrill.
I would recommend this book to fans of science fiction and adventurous thrillers. The characters are strong and bond together very well. If nothing else, the message of good versus evil will draw you in.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*