Review – Crossline by Russ Colchamiro
Sitting down with Colchamiro’s Crossline I was expecting a rollicking Sci-Fi adventure. In reality Crossline is more than that. Yes, it is certainly, primarily a Science-Fiction novel. But, carefully blended into the mix are elements of spirituality, humor and even some tense, dark situations. Does it work? Yes, for the main part. There are a couple of ever so slight niggles I had, but we’ll get to those.
Crossline starts in the present day as we meet Marcus Powell, pilot of the most advanced spacecraft known to man. Powell is dispatched into space after being selected to pilot the craft by Taurus Enterprises CEO, Buddy Rheams, Jr. As you could probably guess, things don’t exactly go to plan and Powell ends up flying through a wormhole and crash-landing on a distant planet, known as Aretha.
After some initial, understandable confusion over the planet’s uncanny likeness to Earth, it emerges that Powell is something of a chosen one, and he has a huge part to play in its ongoing civil war.
Rewind…To the rise of Buddy Rheams, Jr.
Around a quarter of the way in we are taken back 50 years to discover the circumstances behind Buddy’s rise to CEO of Taurus Enterprises. It’s here I must admit the story really picked up for me – and I was already enjoying it. This portion of the story is by far the strongest and I could quite easily have read a whole novel based on Buddy alone. Then again, I am a sucker for an anti-hero. The situations are definitely thought provoking and successfully led me to consider if I myself would have acted any differently to Buddy. Would I? Let’s not go there.
Without heaping in the spoilers, the story weaves its way back to the present day where Colchamiro succeeds in closing out the story in both a clever and original way – With a few surprises thrown in for good measure.
As for the negatives, there is nothing that hugely detracts from the story. Colchamiro’s style of inserting sound effects grated on me slightly, but this was pretty much restricted to the first portion of the novel. Otherwise, I’m not sure that the darker scenes – in particular Riva at Maria’s and the scene at Olivia’s rescue attempt, were needed or merged that comfortably with the rest of the novel.
Don’t that let stop you from picking up Crossline anytime soon though. Colchamiro has produced a thoroughly entertaining read and I’ll certainly be looking forward to the rumoured sequel.
**** 4 STARS!