'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

REVIEW: The Hive Construct - Alexander Maskill

The Hive ConstructTitle: The Hive Construct
Author: Alexander Maskill
Series: None
Publisher: Transworld Publishers
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 13th August, 2015

Winner of the Terry Pratchett Prize, a dark yet dazzlingly imaginative science fiction thriller by a furiously talented new young writer Situated deep in the Sahara Desert, New Cairo is a city built on technology—from the huge, life-giving solar panels that keep it functioning in a radically changed, resource-scarce world to the artificial implants that have become the answer to all and any of mankind's medical problems. But it is also a divided city, dominated by a handful of omnipotent corporate dynasties. And when a devastating new computer virus begins to spread through the poorest districts, shutting down the life-giving implants that enable so many to survive, the city begins to slide into the anarchy of violent class struggle. Hiding amid the chaos is Zala Ulora. A gifted hacker and fugitive from justice, she believes she might be able to earn her life back by tracing the virus to its source and destroying it before it destroys the city—or before the city destroys itself. With its vivid characters, bold ideas, and explosive action, The Hive is science fiction at its most exciting, inventive, and accessible.
This book was a quick, fun and unexpected read. I hadn't read a science fiction book in awhile so the request to review this came at a really good time. The more technical side of science fiction isn't something that I've had a lot of luck with in the past, but I really enjoyed this one. The Hive Construct is fast-paced with plenty of action to keep you turning the pages. Zala was a great character but I loved that we got to see various viewpoints throughout - it definitely gave me a better understanding of the events that were unfolding and the reasons behind everything.

I always find myself blown away by some really talented debuts. Maskill's writing style doesn't come across as a first novel at all. I really felt that the book benefited from his background in computer science as well. I loved learning about the more technical aspects regarding the technology; it helped make everything that little bit more believable. My reason for the 3.5* rating is that although I really enjoyed the book. I don't think that the more technical side is still completely for me. It wasn't a fault with the book itself, it was more down to personal preference.

The Hive Construct is an enjoyable science-fiction read with plenty of twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. It certainly isn't one to miss and it is well deserving of the Terry Pratchett Prize!


  1. I didn't realise the Terry Pratchett prize was run this year, didn't seem to get much press.

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