Book Review: Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Rating:  ★★★★

Release Date: May 28th, 2019

Publisher: Solaris

Length: 105 pages

I absolutely loved this novella from the moment I picked it up to the moment I put it down. It starts out very light. The protagonist is a funny guy. He’s lost on an alien artifact humans have been calling “the Crypts.”

The story is told in two timelines, present and past. The past timeline outlines how he came to be lost in the Crypts and tells us a little about the state of the world before he left earth. In the present, he’s wandering the Crypts encountering all manner of alien life.

The writing was very good. I enjoyed the stream of consciousness style here, and that isn’t always my thing. Tchaikovsky employed it very well. This was a context in which it made sense, and it was easy to follow. Another note about the writing, the present timeline is written in present tense. I know for some readers that can be an issue, but I enjoyed it and thought it brought an added level of excitement to the story.

The pace, initially, is ambling. There are a few exciting things happening, but what drew me in was the humor. Gary Rendell is just a guy you want to hang out with. There are some definite elements of horror, but they were balanced well with the humor. As we near the end the tone becomes darker and darker. Nothing is what it seems.

I have a feeling some of the science in this science fiction has no foundation in reality (disclaimer, I know nothing about physics), but there were several fun little nods to biology. Rendell comments on the way the various aliens are formed and how and why they might have developed that way and I thought it was a nice way to flesh out the MC. There were also a few nods to human psychology, and those passages were some of my favorites.

Overall I thought it was inventive and creative. I’d recommend it to readers who enjoy elements of horror with their science fiction or fans of Tchaikovsky’s other work.

Thank you to NetGalley and Solaris for providing me with an eARC to review.

Walking to Aldebaran can be found on GoodReads and preordered on Amazon.

20 thoughts on “Book Review: Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky

    • This was a pretty good place to start I think! I also hear great things about his Children of Time series, which I did start once and read about 25%. Through no fault of the book I ended up putting it back down. I was hit by a bad reading slump where I really just wasn’t into anything I picked up. I would like to try again, especially with Children of Ruin coming out soon (or already released?).

      Like

      • Good point! I think I’m becoming more critical as I get older, but I also force myself to finish a lot more books than I used to. Before if I didn’t like something I just moved on- now that I review stuff I feel obligated to finish, so I end up getting annoyed and sounding critical, even though there were probably a few good things about it. My recent review of The Priory of the Orange Tree is a good example. Really it wasn’t terrible, it just annoyed me more than entertained me.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I agree I think it is a good place to start! I do think the style and content are fairly different from Children of Time, but this one is so easy and quick to read it makes for a good introduction.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I really enjoyed Ironclads and Children of Time, so I suspect I’ll love this as well. Just really is a solid author.

    Have you read the Martian? I know this is probably nothing like it, but the humour element you mentioned made me think of that. Probably my favourite audio book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love humor in books! I actually haven’t read it or seen the film. Maybe I should bump it up my list? I’m a big fan of Matt Damon. Especially when he’s playing someone from Boston. I don’t suppose they let him do his Boston accent in that movie did they?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t remember as its been so long since I saw the film. I listen to the audio book at least once a year. So good! I have heard amazing things about the book but just feel the narrator makes it pop so much more than it would if I were reading it.

        Ps.

        Seriously … how much money has Hollywood spent trying to find Matt Damon 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe I’ll try to read along with the audio. Or maybe I’ll read it and then listen. I’m just a bad listener. I miss things constantly and it takes me forever to do them. I also have a small child at home so tuning her out to listen isn’t really an option. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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