The Surfacing, a review by Susan

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The Surfacing
Terrance Coffey

310 Pages
January 17, 2024
Helm House

Goodreads | Amazon |

This was an interesting read, very different from what I usually read:  I will tell the readers of this blog that I am not well-versed in science fiction. This book was engaging and kept me interested, even though it is not my genre of choice.  This story takes place in Appalachia and involves the potential takeover of the earth by an alien race that wants to assume control, destroying mankind as we know it.  At times, it feels very allegorical. This alien race is led by a “child” Kaden who seems very innocent at first blush at the beginning but the reader catches on that he is anything but innocent soon enough.  A member of the Appalachian community, Clay, emerges as the unlikely possible hero to save the human species.  The author definitely instills a sense of foreboding and suspense through the book as the readers wonders whether or not Clay will succeed. Given any number of books I have read lately that seem to be short on plot, there was a clear one present in this novel, which was a very welcome change.

That said, the book could be a bit hard to follow. There were many characters and points of view and they could be hard to make those shifts and know what is going on.  As I said earlier, there is a bit of what feels like allegory here:  similarities to how our own American society or even world is unraveling and I think that I would have loved to see this fleshed out a bit, which would make this rise above many similar books. Further, about halfway into the novel, there seemed to be some repetition of what was happening and with a bit of careful pruning, the story could be a bit tighter.  However, I look forward to seeing what else this author has to say in the future.



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