Fun and light self published space adventure

Written by
Chris Mead and Derek Smith in 2014

Let me start out by saying that the title of the book, Swallow the Sky, has nothing to do with whether the sky (or skies of the various planets mentioned in the book, in this case) are actually swallowed up by some sort of threat. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what it means in the context of the book, but the story itself is great fun.

Carson is an interstellar mailman and antique dealer who arrives on Kaimana, an ocean world with an active volcano which is the only inhabited settlement on the planet. He quickly gets involved in a conspiracy when he meets a woman, Aiyana, and wakes up to find her dead in his bed.

The universe of Swallow the Sky is richly imagined and densely populated with many far flung technologies, long lifespans and many varying worlds. You almost feel like asking the author: “please sir, can I have some more” of this universe building.

Look, the book is self published, and there are some minor editing errors here or there, but by in large, what you get is a fun, light hearted adventure with interesting concepts and characters. My favourite is Tallis, the ant colony.

My only main criticism of the book is its ending, which sputters into the territory of “what the frak just happened” because it sort of feels like the author couldn’t quite tie the threads together. It’s also very anticlimatic, because there’s lots of foreshadowing about some Great Big Threat, which never quite materialises.

If you’re looking for a fun read, then Swallow the Sky is not a bad way to go. Just go light on the ending, which is kind of stupid.

Rating

The only thing missing from this space adventure is big space ship battles.

Read this if you…

Don’t mind a bit of star trekking across the galaxy.

Don’t read this if you…

Are looking for hard science fiction. Try Stephen Baxter of Arthur C. Clarke.

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