Sci-fi Challenge – Hull Zero Three

Dammit I’m late again. I actually finished this book a week ago but have only just got round to posting this. April’s Sci-fi challenge book was Hull Zero 3 by Greg Bear.

Another ‘proper’ Sci-fi story in that it’s set on a spaceship in space it that’s pretty much where any similarities to what I’ve read before end. A man swims into consciousness being dragged naked and cold by a small girl. The man is Teacher but all he knows is the little girl is desperately trying to help him survive by getting him somewhere warm. As they ‘chase the heat’ words and memories occur to him as they are prompted by new experiences and locations as they make their way through Ship. As these memories surface Teacher becomes aware that something has gone horribly, horribly wrong with the mission he thought he was on and Ship appears to be in the process of tearing itself and its inhabitants apart bit by bit. Along the way clues are left to the history of the voyage and what might be happening in various books put together by the people who went before him, a lot of whom appear to be him if the corridor full of mutilated bodies that resemble him is to be believed. Along the way he finds company with other, similarly confused beings and together they fight their way through against the viscous Factors, seemingly manufactured protectors of Ship, or minions of the mysterious Destination Guidance? Things come to a head in the untouched and dark Hull Zero 3

I wasn’t sure about the way this story was written at first, the descriptions of locations seemed maddeningly vague and overly complicated at the same time but then I found that this helped create the atmosphere of chaos that Teacher was going through and as he regained his memories and met up with other Characters the writing style seemed to become smoother. Every character in the story is looking for something, although they’re not sure what and they’re not even sure what side they should be on until they realise that they all hold important parts of the same puzzle and things start clicking into place. The final scenes tie things together nicely but still manage to include a final twist.

I liked it. 3/5

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