Official Review: Survive! by Charles P. Graham

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Official Review: Survive! by Charles P. Graham

Post by ViziVoir » 05 Nov 2019, 14:56

[Following is an official review of "Survive!" by Charles P. Graham.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Survive by Charles P. Graham is a science fiction novel that follows several crew members of the Copernicus, a deep-space exploration ship, when they are marooned on the planet Tau Ceti g. To survive, they must work together with a native species of pack hunter that they call pidoggs. The remote location means that rescue could be decades away, if it ever comes at all, and challenges continue to mount as the planet's ecosystem reveals ever more life-threatening secrets.

On the whole, this book is remarkably well-executed. I was able to find only a handful of typos, and other than a few duplicated sentences, they were all very minor. The writing is detailed and well-paced, imparting a sense of terror at the sheer scale and variety of challenges the characters faced without getting stale or boring, and the dialogue, while not exceptionally memorable, is polished and natural. This story's immersion is quite impressive and definitely its best quality.

Characters' emotions are reasonable and conveyed effectively, and their motivations are easy to keep track of. Their different reactions to being stranded on an alien planet are depicted well for the most part, but some characters weren't particularly distinct. In some scenes, the story groups them by gender rather than treating them as individual people, which didn't help. On top of that, the way romance was handled struck me as odd, with some characters falling in love without very much development at all. It was very hard for me to care much about any of the survivors as people.

With regards to the worldbuilding, I feel like this book was immersive but not particularly creative. With a few exceptions, the planet didn't feel much different at all from Earth. The plants are almost identical to grasses and trees, and the animals all have Earth equivalents, too, from insects to elephants. The setting is central to the narrative and portrayed very effectively, but it would have been fairly easy to write this story without any of the science fiction elements, making the fact that it's set on another planet at all feel a bit pointless.

Ultimately, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It's an exciting survival adventure despite its flaws, and if that's a subgenre you enjoy, it's worth checking out. Fans of hard science fiction will be disappointed, though, as most of the science fiction elements are little more than set dressing. While there's no explicit content, the graphic descriptions of gore mean that it probably isn't appropriate for very young readers.

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Post by LauraLeeWasHere » 08 Nov 2019, 08:46

Thank you for such a complex review. It can often be difficult to say what you don't like about a story in a constructive way. But you managed to find the balance.

I appreciate how you seem to hit the nail on the head by describing who would appreciate this book the most (and why). The book cover made me instantly think of Star Trek but I'm now sure it 'ain't'. However, the plot of them being stranded and not knowing what their future holds is enough for me to still be interested.

Like I mentioned, your review is complex, so I'm looking forward to reading this book and seeing what else you'll be recommending in the future.

Thank you.

Sincerely, Laura-Lee
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. John 21:25 KJV

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Post by ashley_claire » 08 Nov 2019, 08:55

Dialogue that flows naturally is really hard to come across, so I’m glad this book had it. I’m a sucker for space voyage stories, so this review was right up my alley. I am disappointed that the planet they end up in doesn’t seem much different than Earth, though. Thanks for the thorough review.

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Post by Falconcrest » 10 Nov 2019, 00:29

I love the sci-fi genre though it's a shame that some elements of the story leave a gap. I might give this a go and thanks for an excellent review.

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Post by Deepa09k » 13 Nov 2019, 13:04

Your review is so good that I started comparing the story with another 'Survive' that I know of ( which isn't the right thing to do by the way🙃). I will definitely go through this book in future and again, thanks for your informative review!

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Post by kdstrack » Yesterday, 22:03

You had some excellent insights about the setting and its similarity to Earth. The characters and adventures make it seem like an exciting science fiction read. Thanks for the honest review.

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