Friday, 3 June 2011


Mine: (Second Edition)Title: Mine
Author: Lin Sten


Score: 8/10


It's been a long time since I stayed up till 4am reading. At least, unless you count last night. You can probably tell from that that I enjoyed it, and I'm sure the author enjoyed writing it. It's a happy book, an uplifting one. One that it's easy to enjoy reading. But it's not easy to read. It's Technical, Hard Sci-Fi, and there will be more about that later in the review. But first I want to talk about the characters. They're great.

Essentially that's the summary of the characters. I can't think of a single character that I didn't like. Maybe the chat-show host, Charles Dance. But of the main characters, there are none that are boring or lifeless. Even the bad guy seems somewhat lovable as the story progresses. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. Generally it's helpful to have someone to hate. Normally the bad guy, but not always. This doesn't have that, but while unusual, it reflects the theme of the book quite well (that of coexisting with other species).

The main character,  Selena, is superb. I really enjoyed reading the scenes with her giving interviews, as they were always uplifting. In the book she always make everyone feel better for having met her, and I felt that that emotion really comes off the page. I felt good just reading about her. In fact, if I had hated the rest of the book, I would still hope for a sequel to read more of her character. And Hal, the professor, is another great character. I quite enjoyed the scenes with them together.

There were one or two plot-lines that I didn't think were really necessary, although since I enjoyed reading them I'm not going to complain about them, but I would have liked to have seen the story arc with the character Destinguor introduced much earlier - it seemed a bit squeezed in at the end. The only thing I felt slightly let the book down was the amount of Double Entendre between characters. I felt that while some books do do well with so many of them, that it kind of lowered the tone of the book a little. The sex-ness in general actually. It seems to be constantly present. I have no problem with the actual sex scenes - they aren't too bad. But when sex is mentioned in the narrative during a   thesis evaluation it seems to be getting too out of hand.

And actually, that thesis evaluation was quite a critical scene. It's a scene that ties together Hal's story-lines, as although it's not his thesis, he came up with the ideas. That are described quite well in the book. Not with equations, or anything like that, but with words like "Differential Geometry", "Double-dimensional analysis" and lots of stuff about quarks. I'm an undergradute student of Mathematical Physics and I found the science difficult in parts. I think Sten assumes a higher knowledge of physics than many people possess. But I did find it fascinating, and if you can get past the technical terms it's not really important that you understand what's going on, as they explain the consequences anyway. It's great if you can understand it, but it won't spoil the story if you don't.
In a similar way, the author refers to the arts a lot. He mentions famous artworks, famous pieces of music, and quotes from several books (including his own book: "Souls, Slavery, and Survival in the Molenotech Age"). So if you don't get the science, you might be more likely to get more of these references than I did.

Already far over the 400 words I try to limit myself to, I'll bring this to conclusion. I enjoyed the book. It's not easy-reading, apart from the science there are some complex arguments in "court", but it is fascinating and has a nice message. I'm not sure I liked that he quoted his own book, but Sten makes up for it by giving us the wonderful character of Selena Castillo to read about, and I would love to read more about her.

More Information

Main Protagonist(s): 1~2 Females, 1 Male
Main Antagonist(s): 1 Male. Sort of.
Main Relationships: Heterosexual
Genre: Hard Sci-Fi
Brief Synopsis:

Selena Castillo publicly claims to be an extraterrestrial. Is it a joke, a delusion, a gimmick, or a reality? Tony Sturgess must believe that Selena's claim is only a publicity stunt, or that she is insane, as he falls in love with her, because he still struggles with the racism of his white-supremacist childhood; otherwise, he is certainly the right talent agent to exploit the gimmick, despite her radical environmentalism. Professor Hal Bronson, on the other hand, is desperate to believe Selena's claim after he is labeled a "crackpot" for hypothesizing that the SETI silence is due to a global technological catastrophe that every advancing civilization must face: she might be a witness. But if Earth is to be saved, from whom and for whom will it be? Through humor, romance, and suspense, MINE entertains while its human characters resolve a case of mistaken insanity.  
-- Amazon

Website: n/a
Amazon Link: UK | US
Pages: 300
Published: 1st: 2010, 2nd: 4/30/2011 (slightly edited to mention real events between first and second editions - which impressed me)
Publisher: Self-Published

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