August CSFF Blog Tour Day 2: Offworld, by Robin Parrish


Okay, enough foolishness. Here’s the review:

Offworld was quick-paced and full of action. It was a fun ride, and once it started rolling, it barely paused to let me catch a breath. I was familiar with a lot of the places Parrish described in the story, and I thought he did a pretty good job giving us the nickel tour of points of interest along Interstate-10.

The characters were likable, though a bit stereotypical. I thought girl-enigma Mae, however, was very unique and interesting, though I wished Parrish would have let her open up a little more, especially when the mystery surrounding her was resolved.

The story showcased lots of positive values, including loyalty, courage, self-sacrifice, integrity, and the importance of trust and honesty (or the problems that multiply from distrust and deception). Reference was made several times to Someone watching over our heroes, and judging by the number of hair-breadth escapes and miraculous survivals, I had to agree.

My biggest complaint was that Offworld shut down my willing suspension of disbelief at several points, and that takes some doing in a story I like. There was the characters’ Wile E. Coyote-like resistance to injury, a few car stunts that would make Hollywood filmmakers blush, and a key element of the story that gave me a whole new perspective on deus ex machina. It was distracting, but it didn’t keep me from enjoying the story. Like I said, it was a fun ride.

Bottom line, I think anybody who’s a fan of sci-fi actioners laced with a little mystery will enjoy Offworld.

Tomorrow, I’ll track down some commentary from other members of the CSFF Blog Tour crew and figure out who got science fiction in my fantasy (or maybe it was fantasy in my science fiction).

Don’t forget, I’m giving away a copy of Offworld this week! Everyone who leaves a comment through midnight on Day 3 will be entered into the drawing (1 entry per day, per person). After all entries have been collected, my daughter will draw them out of a hat and discard them until only one remains. The survivor gets the book!

No, it’s not a cookbook.

Please visit some of the other fine sites on the CSFF Blog Tour:

Robin Parrish’s Website:
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Gina Burgess
Melissa Carswell
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen (posting later in the week)
John W. Otte
Lyn Perry
Steve Rice
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Dona Watson
Elizabeth Williams

>>This review is based upon a copy of the book provided to me free of charge by the publisher, a courtesy I appreciate, but which does not guarantee my recommendation. I strive to evaluate every book I review purely on its intrinsic merits.<<

4 thoughts on “August CSFF Blog Tour Day 2: Offworld, by Robin Parrish

  1. Fred, another solid review. I did “weaknesses” today and camped on the fact that I found a lot of the escapes to be implausible. Later, when the reason for these seems to be the miraculous hand of God (not spelled out like that), I just wasn’t buying it.

    But I’m not the target audience, so I’m sure there will be fans who love the book.

    I thought Steve Rice made a great point, one I thought as well as I was reading Offworld. Reviewing this book so soon after reading Vanish gave me a been-there feel which stole some of the freshness of the premise.


    1. Hi, Becky!

      Yes, I thought it seriously strained the credibility of the story–one of the things that distinguishes science fiction from fantasy is that it maintains some degree of plausibility under the rules of our universe as we understand them (or logically project them if it’s an unknown area).

      I’m also not real big on declaring retroactive miracles either, particularly when people *choose* to do something dangerous–throwing yourself from the Temple roof expecting angels to catch you, and all that.

      But, people will let a lot of implausibility go by in an action story/movie, maybe because the ride is so much fun, and there’s really no time to think, “Could this really happen?”

      Heh, we’ve had a run of vanishings here, and next month…hey, it’s the Vanishing Sculptor!

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