Monday, February 13, 2017

Book Review: Scaling the Rim

Yesterday I purchased and read Scaling the Rim, a novella by Dorothy Grant. Scaling the Rim is the first published book by Dorothy Grant.  It is a gripping tale of political intrigue and a struggle against the elements by a small group of academics, technicians, and soldiers. Set on a partially-terraformed colony world, the characters must face lethally frigid temperatures as they travel to the top of a crater rim to install a weather station that could help save lives.

The main characters are Annika, a technician from the Federation, and Restin, a captain in the military of the Rus. The tensions between Federation and Rus, the perfidy of the Federation, and its totalitarian methods, are ongoing elements within the story.  Despite that tension, Annika and Restin work together as best they in an attempt to triumph over adversity. Both characters are almost instantly understandable and easy to relate to.  Within a few pages I couldn't help but wish them well. For other characters, well wishes were understandably hard to summon - I believe this was as the author intended.

One thing I wish the story had was just a little bit more on the backstory of the world, particularly the origins of the Rus.  It is mentioned in very broad strokes in pieces through the story.  I found the setting fascinating, but the details are little more than brief references and hints here and there. On the other hand, the lack of such details do little to deter understanding of the story - and the lack of too much exposition on the subject does keep the story flowing very well.

The book was great fun and quick read. I literally read it one sitting with no breaks of any sort. In my opinion, it was neither too short nor too long - for the story being told, it was just right.  Their were no formatting and scant typographical errors to be noted.  The cover is pretty and memorable.  I heartily recommend this book to any who enjoy science fiction, adventure tales, or thrillers - it has elements of all of them in it.

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