I have just finished reading The Void by Timothy S Johnston, and my chief feeling is one of sadness that I have finished it. As with the previous two books in this series, the tension, characters and writing was as spellbinding and gripping as one could possibly wish to find in a book.
Over these three books, Johnston has created a main character in Kyle Tanner who is complex, sympathetic and totally believable – A well rounded character around whom he has based a set of closed room murder stories which carry one away from the mundane and dreary problems of our sad world to an even more dreadful one in many respects. And this is good? Yup.
This is not simply a sort of deep space detective story (though it is that of course), but a study in the misuse of power, both governmental and personal. A long hard look at dictatorships and repressive government, where any form of dissent is punished by death. Shades of George Orwell here, thought control and thought police are obviously lurking in the background of the society he has created here.
Underlying all of that is a fascinating discourse on how our brains function. A research project that is taking place in the stranded space ship our hero finds himself on is a highly confidential project into how the brain works. Not wishing to give away one of the main plot lines, I shall not expand on this, simply say that when you read this book (as read it you should), I am pretty sure that you will find this part as intriguing as I did. Continue reading