Saturday, July 7, 2012
Book Review of The Starlight Crystal by Christopher Pike
Author: Christopher Pike
Publisher: Archway paperback
Type of book: 2100s, infinity, repetition, eternal love, science fiction, aliens, war, young adult, genetics
Year it was published: February 1996
It is two hundred years in the future. Eighteen-year-old Paige Christian has been given a chance to join the crew of the Traveler- a special spaceship designed to circle the solar system at near light speed. One day aboard the Traveler is equal to ten years on earth. The Traveler is a time capsule as well as a spaceship. Its purpose is to study the changes on earth throughout two centuries, and then return home.
But something happens to the Traveler. Something also happens to the earth, an awful thing. And the years pass, billions of them, and still Paige Christian lives, and remembers all those she left behind. Until the day she finally does come home, to a world and a future no human being could have imagined.
The characters lack depth and often strike me as creator's puppets which he could manipulate and control at will. Instead of spending moments on science fiction which I cared little about, he could have used more pages to show or build up relationships between Paige and Tem or between Paige and her father and so forth. I couldn't identify with or enjoy any particular characters that Pike created.
Everything will reincarnate over and over.
This is written in first person narrative from Paige's point of view, and then from her "daughter's" point of view. While the idea and story had a lot of potential to be great and memorable, it wasn't meant to be. I'm not a science fiction fan and if there is science fiction, small doses please. This book had a great deal amount of science fiction as well as Pike's typical philosophy on life and so forth, yet there was no lasting impact in my life and it didn't leave me with fond memories.
Christopher Pike wrote 30+ novels mainly for young adults, the most famous or well known one is The Last Vampire Saga, Final Friends and Remember Me, and his real name is Kevin McFadden. One of his books, Fall Into Darkness was created into a movie. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a website, but there is a fan club that is devoted to him. (http://www.christopherpikefanclub.com/ )
When I read the idea of the world coming back to life over and over, I was reminded of the time I was in seventh grade and mentioned a similar idea to my science teacher, and she replied back that it sounds like a wonderful science fiction story. On the first read I enjoyed the story a lot; but on the second read, I had a different idea about it. The best thing I loved was the book cover. This novel lacked the timelessness of Whisper of Death as well as the love that I sensed between Pepper and Rox. This book is completely science fiction and also seemed incredibly rushed, especially the ending part where Paige's "daughter" Alpha narrates the story of what happened after her "mother" passed away. The whole novel lacked substance and depth in my opinion. This is really not Pike's best work. (I had a difficult time buying the fact that Paige missed Tem, and everything is best described as unsatisfactory appetizers.) The resolution is too quick and lacked coherency.
2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)