Official Review: Xenophobia by Peter Cawdron

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fantasy or science fiction books or series.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
User avatar
JR Mercier
Posts: 407
Joined: 23 May 2018, 05:03
2018 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Bear and the Nightingale
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jr-mercier.html
Latest Review: Revelations (The Infinity Series, Vol.1) by Bellamy Westbay
Location: South Africa

Official Review: Xenophobia by Peter Cawdron

Post by JR Mercier » 10 Jul 2018, 04:10

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Xenophobia" by Peter Cawdron.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


When aliens initiate first contact, Doctor Elisabeth Bower is stuck in Malawi, trying to protect her staff and patients from the rebel militia. Abandoned by the US military, her hope comes in the form of Sergeant Jameson and his eccentric rangers. With the rebel militia on one side, the mothership floating above, and the rangers behind her, Dr. Liz sets out in search of safety.

Xenophobia plays out two major storylines. We have the civil war in Malawi and First Contact with the rest of the world. Stuck with only a failing radio, the snippets of what is happening in the rest of the world heightens the suspense to such a degree that I read this book in one go. The action builds up slowly, but it fits perfectly with the story.

What I loved most about this book was the underlying message. I love a good book, but a book that tells a great story while dealing with real-world issues – that is a book that changes your life. Xenophobia achieves that. The underlying message and commentary throughout the book on our judgement of people that are different, and what it means to understand diverse cultures and species, all hit very close to home.

The writer also uses two opposites to advance the story forward. We have the healer, Liz, and the military man, Elvis. Both have opposing views on the sanctity of life and how to deal with first contact. While Liz wants to initiate contact, Elvis wants to go on the offense and strike. And yet, these two characters function as accurate representations on the two primary types of people in the world if first contact was to happen. I loved that the author did it this way and that their reactions are very human. There are tears and anger and hatred – from all sides, connecting everyone as one whole.

This was my first hard science fiction read (hard science fiction is based on scientific accuracy) and I enjoyed it immensely. The descriptions were beautiful, and the author also adds a few illustrations of the mothership, floaters, and Stella. The author also based the alien biology on the human neurosphere.

Xenophobia is written in the present tense, which was slightly awkward at first but straightens out and lends to the suspense of the read. There were only two missed commas with the rest of the book filled with impeccable writing and awesome descriptions, especially on battle scenes between the rangers and the militia. The battles are brutal, no one is safe and the mental effects of seeing someone killed in front of you is not ignored. The only thing that I didn’t like was the banter. There were a couple of times that it felt forced and pretentious. There are also a few scenes of graphic violence and some swearing.

I rate Xenophobia 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book to those looking for an unpredictable, hard sci-fi read full of suspense and commentary on xenophobia, as well as humanity’s fear of that which we don’t understand. The author did a great job of depicting characters that any reader will love and relate to. Humanity needs to understand each other before we can ever dream of understanding those in our ever-expanding universe.
If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences between our kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.
- Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek. (also quoted in Xenophobia)
******
Xenophobia
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like JR Mercier's review? Post a comment saying so!
Dream up something wild and improbable.
-Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor

bookierme
Posts: 22
Joined: 09 Jul 2018, 09:14
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 19

Post by bookierme » 11 Jul 2018, 01:45

This sounds amazing. I particularly like the fact that one of the settings is Malawi, an Africa country. It is quite fitting given the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa. I am keen to read this book. Great review!

User avatar
JR Mercier
Posts: 407
Joined: 23 May 2018, 05:03
2018 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Bear and the Nightingale
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jr-mercier.html
Latest Review: Revelations (The Infinity Series, Vol.1) by Bellamy Westbay
Location: South Africa

Post by JR Mercier » 11 Jul 2018, 03:48

bookierme wrote:
11 Jul 2018, 01:45
This sounds amazing. I particularly like the fact that one of the settings is Malawi, an Africa country. It is quite fitting given the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa. I am keen to read this book. Great review!
I'm South African so this hit really close to home. It's got such a great message and I think you will love it.
Dream up something wild and improbable.
-Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor

User avatar
Sarah Tariq
Posts: 916
Joined: 17 Mar 2017, 02:17
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2017 Reading Goal: 15
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 60
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 46
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 51
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sarah-tariq.html
Latest Review: Boom! A Revolting Situation by Thomas Richard Harry
Reading Device: PDF
Location: The Land of Pure

Post by Sarah Tariq » 11 Jul 2018, 08:20

I also like books which deal with real life issues. I think I should give it a try. Thanks for this nice review.
Make your ideals high enough to inspire you and low enough to encourage you.

kdstrack
Posts: 1415
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 60
Currently Reading: Black Wind
Bookshelf Size: 143
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdstrack.html
Latest Review: Lemoncella Cocktail by Rene Natan
Location: La Paz, Bolivia

Post by kdstrack » 11 Jul 2018, 09:02

Great review! It's great when an author can really get you into a genre that you don't generally read. Your review makes this one look really interesting. Thanks.

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 759
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading: Native Girl Rites
Bookshelf Size: 33
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Best Evidence by Mark S. Osaki

Post by gen_g » 11 Jul 2018, 09:52

This seems like an intriguing read - I'm always up for fiction books which discuss deep issues. For some reason, I am reminded of Neill Blomkamp's District 9, which had somewhat similar settings and it was a movie I really enjoyed! Going to put this on the to-read list now. Thanks for the amazing review as always!

User avatar
Bonnie Shelby
Posts: 157
Joined: 12 May 2018, 20:07
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 41
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bonnie-shelby.html
Latest Review: Ridiculous by D.L. Carter
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Bonnie Shelby » 11 Jul 2018, 10:07

Wow, your review is awesome! This sounds like a great book. I especially loved that quote you put in at the end :)

daydreaming reader
Posts: 36
Joined: 02 Jan 2016, 19:38
Currently Reading: Serial K Returns
Bookshelf Size: 11
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-daydreaming-reader.html
Latest Review: The Altitude Journals by David J Mauro

Post by daydreaming reader » 11 Jul 2018, 11:02

Sounds like an intriguing read, especially in regards to the arrival of the mothership and its impact on the civil war. This is the first time that I am reading about the term hard science fiction, so thank you for the education as well as the review.

User avatar
JR Mercier
Posts: 407
Joined: 23 May 2018, 05:03
2018 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Bear and the Nightingale
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jr-mercier.html
Latest Review: Revelations (The Infinity Series, Vol.1) by Bellamy Westbay
Location: South Africa

Post by JR Mercier » 11 Jul 2018, 12:06

Sarah Tariq wrote:
11 Jul 2018, 08:20
I also like books which deal with real life issues. I think I should give it a try. Thanks for this nice review.
Thank you for the comment and I hope you like it!
Dream up something wild and improbable.
-Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor

User avatar
JR Mercier
Posts: 407
Joined: 23 May 2018, 05:03
2018 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Bear and the Nightingale
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jr-mercier.html
Latest Review: Revelations (The Infinity Series, Vol.1) by Bellamy Westbay
Location: South Africa

Post by JR Mercier » 11 Jul 2018, 12:07

kdstrack wrote:
11 Jul 2018, 09:02
Great review! It's great when an author can really get you into a genre that you don't generally read. Your review makes this one look really interesting. Thanks.
I'm much more into fantasy and the whimsical side of reading, but this was really a great read.
Dream up something wild and improbable.
-Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor

User avatar
JR Mercier
Posts: 407
Joined: 23 May 2018, 05:03
2018 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Bear and the Nightingale
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jr-mercier.html
Latest Review: Revelations (The Infinity Series, Vol.1) by Bellamy Westbay
Location: South Africa

Post by JR Mercier » 11 Jul 2018, 12:11

gen_g wrote:
11 Jul 2018, 09:52
This seems like an intriguing read - I'm always up for fiction books which discuss deep issues. For some reason, I am reminded of Neill Blomkamp's District 9, which had somewhat similar settings and it was a movie I really enjoyed! Going to put this on the to-read list now. Thanks for the amazing review as always!
Awww, you're making me blush :oops: :lol: Thank you for the comment and I feel like this is a mix between District 9 and Arrival, both movies that I loved so I am super happy that you will be giving this one a chance.
Dream up something wild and improbable.
-Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor

User avatar
JR Mercier
Posts: 407
Joined: 23 May 2018, 05:03
2018 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Bear and the Nightingale
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jr-mercier.html
Latest Review: Revelations (The Infinity Series, Vol.1) by Bellamy Westbay
Location: South Africa

Post by JR Mercier » 11 Jul 2018, 12:12

Bonnie Shelby wrote:
11 Jul 2018, 10:07
Wow, your review is awesome! This sounds like a great book. I especially loved that quote you put in at the end :)
The whole book follows the theme of understanding and accepting different people and cultures etc. It's got such a great message.
Dream up something wild and improbable.
-Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor

User avatar
JR Mercier
Posts: 407
Joined: 23 May 2018, 05:03
2018 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Bear and the Nightingale
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jr-mercier.html
Latest Review: Revelations (The Infinity Series, Vol.1) by Bellamy Westbay
Location: South Africa

Post by JR Mercier » 11 Jul 2018, 12:14

daydreaming reader wrote:
11 Jul 2018, 11:02
Sounds like an intriguing read, especially in regards to the arrival of the mothership and its impact on the civil war. This is the first time that I am reading about the term hard science fiction, so thank you for the education as well as the review.
It was a learning curve for me as well, don't worry. :lol: I did a whole bunch of research and this subgenre has really caught my attention. I hope it gets a bit more appreciation.
Dream up something wild and improbable.
-Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor

User avatar
Bianka Walter
Member of the Month
Posts: 554
Joined: 10 Feb 2018, 15:22
2018 Reading Goal: 40
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 72
Favorite Book: The Old Man and the Sea
Currently Reading: Iron Gold
Bookshelf Size: 302
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bianka-walter.html
Latest Review: Lily's Awakening by Omni Delano
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Location: South Africa

Post by Bianka Walter » 11 Jul 2018, 16:12

This book sounds great. I thought about picking it but like you say, it hits a little too close to home :) This is a great review - I really enjoyed it, thanks!
You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.
- Dr. Seuss

Dahmy 10
Posts: 115
Joined: 18 Feb 2018, 05:06
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 30
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dahmy-10.html
Latest Review: Heartaches 2 by H.M. Irwing

Post by Dahmy 10 » 11 Jul 2018, 17:09

A beautiful book here, like you said it has dealt with a very pressing need that humanity needs to tackle. Xenophobia had taken its toll in South Africa, and my brothers over there have become victims...

Thanks for this beautiful Exposition...

Post Reply

Return to “Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books”