Mitch Benn - Shastrix Books

Mitch Benn

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Terra's World

Terra's World

Mitch Benn

10th August 2014

Terra, the delightful title-character of Mitch Benn's first novel, which I absolutely adored, returns for a second outing in this novel, where someone is out to get her. While the narrative retains a lot of the humour, food for thought, and science fiction of the first story, it didn't quite manage to grip me in the same way.

This book introduces a lot of new characters, and I felt one of its drawbacks was that we didn't focus on any specific one, but that the attention was shared so that we got some of each character rather than an in depth look at one or two. This may however have been necessary to deliver the plot, which is quite a good science fiction adventure, and introduces some interesting and unexpected twists.

I really liked how the story grows out of the events of the first novel, and doesn't feel like it had been done purely for the sake of a sequel. As a whole, the book makes for a good strong sequel, though I didn't think it had quite the magic of the first book.

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Terra

Terra

Mitch Benn

27th July 2013

Mitch Benn's first novel is as delightful as its main character - a young Ymn (human) girl brought up by a good natured alien scientist. It's an interesting set of observations that combine to create an enthralling narrative that I just couldn't stop reading.

I knew of Benn's work on Radio 4, and so was expecting humour. The book maintains an edge of lightness throughout, although I felt that the humour expressed in the opening chapters, reminiscent of Douglas Adams, lessened throughout as the story became more dramatic. It's a great hook, but something I felt wasn't maintained throughout.

The alien society that Benn has created is fantastic - alien enough to be convincingly different yet still easy to identify with. It feels like something to aspire to, and throughout the book the narrative peels back layer upon layer to reveal more about this world.

My favourite thing though has to be a character whose personal storyline has little to do with the main plot but adds little touches of lightness all the time. I really enjoyed seeing that character's story weave through and hope to see more of them in the promised sequel.

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