06 January 2015

Review: Blindsight

Blindsight by Peter Watts

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Closer to a 2.5.

No book has been recommended to me quite as much as Blindsight. It constantly pops up on the "science fiction books you should read," constantly gets recommended on "what to read" threads on message boards and subreddits, was recommended personally to me on countless occasions, was nominated for a Hugo, the whole thing.

So what on earth did I just read?

This is, at its core, what they like to call a "Big Dumb Object" book, this taking place in the future with said object out near Neptune. The book is, at least in part, about those involved with the contact and communications.

Where does this go wrong? It feels like it's trying be a lot of different ideas and messages, but never really succeeds at any of them. The consciousness angles feel forced, the actual story secondary, the ideas there for the sake of ideas (the "vampires," for example, seem like a cool idea in theory but just get executed kind of poorly). The ending, also, was really abrupt and, even knowing that there's a sequel, felt just...there.

I don't know. I found the book very difficult to read because of its structure and its attempts at being a Big Idea Book, and not nearly interesting enough for me to want to spend more time with it than I did. It's not a complete failure, but it's definitely not something I'd recommend nor do I really get the hype behind it, either.

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