Review – 16 Sunsets by Mark Gardner

Posted: May 26, 2016 in Sci-Fi
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Kristof led a simple life with a simple problem: Terminal cancer. The problem is, his life isn’t simple anymore. He’s just discovered he has superpowers, and only has sixteen sunsets left to live.

Taken in by the cover and the short blurb, I was expecting some kind of crazy, superhero populated pulp fiction. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to those presumptions. Now, I don’t like to give unfavourable reviews but I do have to be honest with my posts.

Kristof, after being told his cancer is so terminal he only has “sixteen sunsets” left to live, suddenly discovers he possesses super powers after a confrontation with a mugger. That same thief then also, inexplicably, develops powers. Both are being tracked by two secret and opposed organisations. This leads to the larger plot that humans are a type of defect and that super-humans, or those with powers, were the first of our species.

It’s an interesting premise with one character doling out some pretty cool backstory. However, many of the other characters are confused; motivations contradict previous actions as they flip-flop one way then the other around the moral compass, never really becoming full actors or properly expressed beings. Similarly, the dialogue is slightly off with colloquial phrases (and spellings) thrown around without being a fixed property of a character. Along with some grammatical and spelling errors and the odd continuation mistake, 16 Sunsets ended up being a frustrating read.

At the heart of the book is a clever idea that could have a lot of legs. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the manuscript needed an editor’s eye and the writing needed some polishing. Clearly, the author is a passionate writer and it showed; it just required a little more work to really give the central story the expression it needed.

Review copy
Published by Pikko’s House

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