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Book Review

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The Lost Colony (Hardback)


Author: A.G. Riddle
Publisher: Head of Zeus
402 pages
RRP: £18.99
ISBN: 978 1 80024 151 0
Publication Date: 01 October 2020

The Lost Colony (402 pages) is the last in the Long Winter trilogy of science fiction novels. The series is written by A. G. Riddle.

Being the last book in the trilogy, its job is to bring all the threats together and hopefully provide the reader with a satisfying conclusion. As such, it does not work terribly well as a stand-alone novel. Although Riddle does finally provide enough information to start to make a cohesive whole, it is not until three quarters into the story.

Although I have read the previous novels, taken on its own, the only thing I would initially know of the story is that it appears to be about a human colony on the planet Eos. The book opens with a bang. There is a climatic and natural predator threat to the colony. The reader is thrown straight into the action, which may be disorientating for new readers.

The story is told from the perspective of two POV characters, Emma and James. Emma is at the camp trying to deal with the oncoming onslaught while James is off trying to unravel the mystery of a particular geometric shape he has found and their connection to a lost colony.

About a third through the novel the story shifts to James only and one very long VR piece, it takes up most of the last two-thirds of the book. Here, Riddle finally uncovers the meaning of the geometric shapes as well as the fate of the colony. It is not a new idea, something similar was used in James Blish’s Cities in Flight series, but Riddle pulls it off, even adding little twists of his own.

If the novel has a fault it is that it is over written, there is a lot of bloat that could have been removed. For instance, chapter sixty-nine has the perfect ending to the book and yet we have another chapter which adds nothing to the story.

If you liked the series, then this will be a satisfying, if unoriginal ending.


Charles Packer

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