The Explorer by James Smythe

The Explorer - James Smythe

It’s hard to know what to say about this book. On one hand I really liked it, but on the other I disliked it. I don’t even know what I should rate it, and if you read it you’ll understand why.


The novel charts the journey into deep-space of several individuals, and Cormac Easton is one of them. He’s a journalist who’s been selected to journey with the rest of the crew in order to document events. He does this by keeping video logs and questioning the crew on-camera about how they feel as they journey further. This is book one in a trilogy, with the second released at this time and the third next year.


This is quite a claustrophobic novel, with all events taking place within the spaceship. Most of the novel is from Cormac’s perspective alone, so this novel mightn’t be for everyone. Usually I hate books concerning spaceships, but I thought I’d give this one a go because, at the time, my concentration wasn’t great and I thought I’d have better luck following a narrative with only one chief character!


I read this quite a few weeks ago, so please forgive me if I get a few details wrong! I won’t focus much on the smaller points anyway, instead the general feeling I got.


I’ve found this so hard to rate because it’s another one of those inconsistent novels.  The narrative went from being enthralling one moment, to very hard to follow the next. One of the main reasons it was hard to follow is that the punctuation was all wrong, and stunted easy reading. This incorrect punctuation was a real flaw, mainly because it slowed down reading, and therefore lost momentum.


The main character Cormac wasn’t particularly endearing either. At no point did he particularly engage me or do/say anything that made me sympathetic towards him.


This story took a really interesting path, or twist, that I didn’t at all expect, and I’ll definitely be reading the two subsequent books in the series to find out how events unfold. I was going to start the second book immediately, but I reminded myself how frustrated I felt at the lack of answers at the end of this, so I’m going to wait until the third and last book in the series is released and read both follow-up novels in one go.