Michael J. Sullivan's Hollow World will be published in April 2014.
Information about Michael J. Sullivan:
Michael J. Sullivan is an American author. He is the author of The Riyria Revelations and The Riyria Chronicles.
Click here to visit the author's official website.
Information about Hollow World:
The future is coming... for some, sooner than others.
Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man, who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but faced with a terminal illness he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He's built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he'll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. He could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began... but only if he can survive Hollow World.
Welcome to the future and a new science fiction thriller from the bestselling author of The Riyria Revelations.
A REVIEW OF MICHAEL J. SULLIVAN'S HOLLOW WORLD
Because I enjoyed reading Michael J. Sullivan's fantasy novels (the Riyria novels), I'm glad that I had a chance to read and review his forthcoming science fiction novel, Hollow World. I can say that it was a pleasure to read this novel, because it was well written entertainment.
Hollow World is an interesting and entertaining science fiction novel that differs quite a lot from other new sci-fi novels. It's a well written and charmingly old-fashioned story with a strongly beating heart at its core. It's a fascinating novel for readers who are interested in classic and modern stories about time travel.
I think that the best way to categorize this novel is to say that it's a time travel novel. It can also be called social science fiction, because the author writes in vivid details about the changes in the society and how humans have changed and developed.
Before I write more about this novel, here's information about the story:
Hollow World is a story about Ellis Rogers. He is dying and has less than a year to live (he has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which can't be cured). He builds a time machine in his garage. When Ellis starts the time machine, he ends up in the year 4078. A lot has changed in the future. Everything he knew seems to have gone and things have changed. The whole world has changed and so have the humans: humans live underground in the Hollow World, falselight works as a sun, religions have disappeared, there aren't any diseases anymore, humans don't have any sexes anymore etc. When Ellis arrives to the future, he almost immediately witnesses a murder and meets Pax...
As you probably noticed by reading this brief synopsis, there isn't exactly anything new in this novel, but that isn't the point of this novel. In my opinion the point of the novel is that the author explores the difference between our society and the future society, and by doing this he makes us think about morality, our lives and our humanity.
Although several authors have already written about what happens to a person when he travels to distant past or to distant future, Michael J. Sullivan's approach feels delightfully humane and touching. The biggest reason for this lies in the author's excellent characterization. The protagonist, Ellis, is a man who has a past and that past has affected him, because the hardships and experiences that he has experienced have molded him. The author manages to make Ellis a realistic character by writing about his life, problems and incurable disease. I think it's great that he wrote easily about the protagonist's disease and his feelings about it and avoided being too sentimental with his descriptions.
The author writes well about Pax and his life. I enjoyed reading about him and his compassionate nature. As he guided Ellis through the Hollow World and told him things about the world and their society, the author revealed significant details about him and his views about the happenings. It was great to read about the friendship between Ellis and Pax. Together, they tried to find out who had murdered people and their search allowed them to get acquainted with each other. It was nice to read how they got to know each other and learned new things from each other.
Michael J. Sullivan explores difficult themes in this novel. He writes surpringly well about religion, sexuality and death. His vision of a society without religion and sexless human beings was fascinating. He writes about these themes in a pleasant style without being condescending. In my opinion he handled these themes admirably and was also capable of evoking an emotional response in the reader.
The author has created an interesting vision of the future of mankind and the planet. It was fascinating for me to read about how the author explored the human condition. The differences between our society and the future society allowed him to write thoughtfully about the human condition, because in the future humans have modifed themselves in several ways: they've changed themselves by purging their bodies of diseases etc. The author has created a society that is free of wars, violence and diseases. When I read this novel, I noticed that he shows his readers that if something has been forgotten or discarded, something new comes to take its place and society adapts to the changes.
One of the best things about this novel is that it makes its reader think about things. I think that everybody who reads this novel will think about the happenings and themes found inside its covers. It's almost impossible not to think about moral issues and the possible future of mankind after reading this novel.
Although this novel contains quite a lot of different elements and themes, Michael J. Sullivan doesn't lose track of the main story. It could've been easy to lose sight of what's going on and drown the reader in deep exploration about philosophy and morality, but fortunately that doesn't happen in this novel. The author drives the story fluently forward by writing about changes in the society and delivering thriller elements every once in a while to keep up readers' interest in the story.
This novel can be seen as a tribute to old time travel novels, especially to H. G. Well's classic science fiction novel, The Time Machine. When you read this novel, it's almost impossible not to think about The Time Machine. This novel is different from The Time Machine, because the author's vision of the future of mankind differs from Wells' vision, but there are similarities that are easily recognizable if you've read H. G. Wells. I found the similarities interesting, because I've always liked Well's novel and consider it to be one of the best time travel novels.
I have to mention that the cover art by Marc Simonetti looks stunningly beautiful (it's a gorgeous painting). It's great that this novel has a good cover image.
Hollow World is old-fashioned science fiction written in a modern way. I think that everybody who loves well written science fiction and time travel novels will want to read this novel, because it's a wonderfully old-fashioned sci-fi story. If you're familiar with the author's fantasy novels, you'll enjoy this novel too, because it's a good novel with excellent characterization.
My final words are: this novel is well written and entertaining old-fashioned science fiction!