Adrift by Rob Boffard
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication date: 7 June 2018
Genre: Science fiction
Page count: 400 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.
I won’t lie, I was initially interested in Adrift because of the exceptional cover. I’m really happy to have stumbled upon this book (and its beautiful cover) because it was exactly what I needed. I’ve been craving good thrillers recently, and this sci-fi thriller was the perfect summer page turner.
For one small group, a tour of the nearby Horsehead Nebula is meant to be a short but stunning highlight in the trip of a lifetime.
But when a mysterious ship destroys Sigma Station and everyone on it, suddenly their tourist shuttle is stranded.
They have no weapons. No food. No water. No one back home knows they’re alive.
And the mysterious ship is hunting them.
Adrift far surpassed my expectations. It’s a gripping, claustrophobic thriller with relentless action that will keep you guessing until the very end. It’s a classic survival story — our characters are stranded in a dangerous place and tensions within the group are rising. But Adrift is so much more than just a standard thriller because of the way it twists familiar tropes and archetypes. You have many of your standard survivor thriller tropes — the group of strangers, the shortage of food and water, high tensions between survivors, and disaster lurking behind every corner. However, Adrift still manages to feel exciting and new despite these tropes. As the cast struggles to survive, it becomes more apparent that these characters are more than just those archetypes.
Although the book is strongly plot-based, the characters are what really drove the story for me. I loved that the reader’s perception of each character changes over the course of the novel as motivations and back stories are introduced. Boffard develops his characters in such a way that they have strong arcs and really keep the reader interested. I have a couple favourite characters that I won’t divulge due to spoilers, but this book is a great example of flipping tropes and defying expectations. You may think you have these people figured out, but they’ll still take you by surprise.
Like most thrillers, I feel like I can’t say too much without spoiling the book so I’ll end this review here. I really enjoyed Adrift and think it’s a great choice for veteran readers of science fiction and those who are new to the genre. The science and technology is easy enough to understand, the characters are interesting, infuriating, and so memorable, and the fast-paced plot makes it the perfect summer page-turner.
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