Inverarity (inverarity) wrote,

Book Review: Infinite, by Jeremy Robinson

Inception meets Passenger.


Breakneck Media, 2017, 400 pages

Searching for a new home....

The Galahad, a faster-than-light spacecraft, carries 50 scientists and engineers on a mission to prepare Kepler 452b, Earth's nearest habitable neighbor at 1400 light years away. With Earth no longer habitable and the Mars colony slowly failing, they are humanity's best hope.

After 10 years in a failed cryogenic bed - body asleep, mind awake - William Chanokh's torture comes to an end as the fog clears, the hatch opens, and his friend and fellow hacker, Tom, greets stabbing a screwdriver into his heart. This is the first time William dies.

It is not the last.

When he wakes from death, William discovers that all but one crew member - Capria Dixon - is either dead at Tom's hands, or has escaped to the surface of Kepler 452b. This dire situation is made worse when Tom attacks again - and is killed. Driven mad by a rare reaction to extended cryo-sleep, Tom hacked the Galahad's navigation system and locked the ship on a faster-than-light journey through the universe, destination: nowhere. Ever.

Mysteriously immortal, William is taken on a journey with no end, where he encounters solitary desperation, strange and violent lifeforms, a forbidden love, and the nature of reality itself.

...he discovers the infinite.

Jeremy Robinson, the master of fast-paced and highly original stories seamlessly blending elements of horror, science fiction, and thrillers, tackles his most ambitious subject matter to date: reality itself. An amalgam of the works of J.J. Abrams and Ridley Scott, Infinite is a bold science fiction novel exploring the vastness of space and a man's desire to exist, find love, and alter the course of his life.

This story was okay. It's got a lot of Inception-like twists. The protagonist wakes up aboard a ship that was supposed to take him in suspended animation to a new colony world, and finds one of his crewmates has gone insane and killed everyone else. Nothing really new here yet — it's your basic "Oh shit things went wrong!" colony ship story.

It gets more interesting once our hero builds an AI to help him make it through the next however many centuries of space travel, and the AI turns hostile. Figuring out what went wrong again leads him to try to wake up the hot chick he was in love with. His obsession with this one woman he might or might not have wound up paired with is a little creepy, but at least he's self-aware about it.

Then they discoverer they may be running in a simulation. And at that point the entire novel is a series of mindfucks with the protagonist never being quite sure what reality is and what layer of reality he might be in.

This is interesting and executed well enough, but while there is a decent if predictable "happy ending," it still felt a bit like an old school sci-fi story rendered anew. Its roots are in Asimov and Hollywood, and I never fully engaged with the story or characters. Enjoyable and fast-paced, but not too memorable.

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Tags: books, reviews, science fiction

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