Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Review: Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente

Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 432
Received: Received an e-copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: October 20, 2015
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

Radiance is a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood—and solar system—very different from our own, from the phenomenal talent behind the New York Times bestselling The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

Severin Unck’s father is a famous director of Gothic romances in an alternate 1986 in which talking movies are still a daring innovation due to the patent-hoarding Edison family. Rebelling against her father’s films of passion, intrigue, and spirits from beyond, Severin starts making documentaries, traveling through space and investigating the levitator cults of Neptune and the lawless saloons of Mars. For this is not our solar system, but one drawn from classic science fiction in which all the planets are inhabited and we travel through space on beautiful rockets. Severin is a realist in a fantastic universe.

But her latest film, which investigates the disappearance of a diving colony on a watery Venus populated by island-sized alien creatures, will be her last. Though her crew limps home to earth and her story is preserved by the colony’s last survivor, Severin will never return.

Aesthetically recalling A Trip to the Moon and House of Leaves, and told using techniques from reality TV, classic film, gossip magazines, and meta-fictional narrative, Radiance is a solar system-spanning story of love, exploration, family, loss, quantum physics, and silent film.

My Review:

This book was so different from many other books that I have read in the past, it is one that really makes you think and see things from a new perspective. This is a beautiful book that I truly immersed myself in, imagine what it is like to watch your favourite film, now imagine what it would be like to know how everything comes together, and you can watch it being filmed scene by scene, that is what this book is like.

This book reimagines the film industry, bringing back the idea of the silent film and how it is so much better than film with voices, it tells more of a story for the audience. Severin Unck is the daughter of a famous silent film director and yet she goes off on her own to make her own documentary about traveling through space. Though somehow something goes wrong on the last trip and Severin never returns home, this book is the story of her growing up and how she became what she did through the eyes of everyone around her.

I loved how Caherynne Valente wrote this story, it is very unique and will definitely appeal to many science fiction lovers out there because of how different it is. There are different styles throughout the story, from interviews to a scene by scene explanation of a movie, this book has everything to it. It is beautifully written and I know that the story will stay with me forever. This is a book that shows about love and loss and the characters all try to show their love and memories in different ways. I loved learning about Severin and how she came to be who she is and what made her get into the line of work she did. You can see from others' stories that she was tough and was the type of person who loved fiercely.

Readers are desperately trying to find out what happened to Severin and it is one of the mystery books that glimpsing into the past can give more of an insight into the present. It's a book that is very difficult to put down because you just want to stay in this world and learn more and more about each of the characters. I don't want to give away the story, I just want to say that it is so unique and if you are interested in a storyline that uses a different type of narrative this would be the one for you.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds so interesting and I love the idea that movies are better without sound....

    Kate @ Ex Libris



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...