Walking to Aldebaran – Adrian Tchaikovsky

Normally a book by Adrian Tchaikovsky is something I will reliably enjoy.  So I was excited to get a review copy of his latest novella Walking To Aldebaran from Solaris.  But this one was a rare miss for me.

The premise is intriguing – a first person narrative from Gary Rendell, one of the team sent to explore a mysterious structure found in space.  That structure turns out to be a gateway to the universe.  A hub that provides gate access to worlds across the universe.  But a hub that is inhabited by strange alien creatures and full of peril.  As Gary explores this strange environment he tells the story of the expedition, how he became separated from his team-mates, and the journey he is on.  It is full of encounters with aliens, miscommunication and a building sense of mystery about what it exactly has happened to Gary.  He has clearly undergone metamorphosis of some sort in this environment.

But I struggled to engage with it.  I suspect a lot of that is down to the first person narration.  I struggled to connect with the blokish Gary and the strong voice he has telling his story.  And for all that there is a twist in the tale, I was left a bit underwhelmed.

Goodreads rating: 2*

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