Review: Spaceport West

The year is 2025. The UK government has decided that it’s time for them to enter and establish themselves in the space race with a colony on Mars. Good news – the Mars colony is also a reality show.

spaceport west

I wanted to enjoy this book – I really did. Instead I’m left with a feeling of “I can really see what he was trying to do …”

There are lots of comparisons on Goodreads between this book and the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. This is entirely unfair. This book is simply not that clever, although there are enough hints that HHGTTG was probably a major influence on the writing style. And the inclusion of the mice.

Chanot definitely had some clever ideas,and some laugh out loud turns of phrase, but they were far between and  poorly executed. The book moves between a wide cast of characters (a way too wide cast of characters for its 232 pages) and excerpts from The UK Guide to Space 2025 Edition.

Overall my impressions were:

  • Way too much dialogue – this would probably have read more cohesively as a script
  • Way too many characters for the size of the book
  • Rushed plotline
  • And frankly – I want more Mars reality TV! This subplot – mentioned in the Goodreads blurb – never finds its feet in the book. This could have been the golden opportunity for character development and social commentary that Chanot was trying to establish. Instead we got jibes about twitter.*Sigh*

I would really love to see this fleshed out to twice the size – this book had so much promise and just didn’t deliver.

2 out of 5 wasted opportunities.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

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