Book Review: Dead on Arrival by Matt Richtel

Cover of the book Dead on Arrival by Matt Richtel
Dead on Arrival
by Matt Richtel
Morrow, 2017

This review was first published by Booklist on May 31, 2017.

The promotional blurbs for Richtel’s latest compare it to Michael Crichton’s thrillers and Stephen King’s The Stand, and these comparisons aren’t without some merit. The story is similar in atmosphere and style to both suggestions, and it’s a cautionary tale about technology and science left unchecked. An airplane lands in a remote town and everyone on the ground appears to be dead. A disgraced doctor on board is the best hope to discover what’s going on. The first half of the novel is split between this mystery and flashbacks to the doctor’s past and his relationship to a particular individual who works for an online technology giant. A twist at the midpoint of the book radically changes the direction of the story, and the second half proceeds as a conventional race-against-the-clock thriller. The pacing is excellent, the science is detailed and believable, and the flashback structure is handled well. Richtel’s writing style is urgent, making this an enjoyable and gripping read.

Remembrance of Earth’s Past by Liu Cixin: A Critical Follow-Up

Shortly after I published my review of the “Remembrance of Earth’s Past” trilogy by Liu Cixin, I tweeted a link to it and @ referenced both the author and the two English language translators of the series, Ken Liu and Joel Martinsen. Shortly after that tweet, Ken posted a series of tweets in response.

I’m incredibly grateful that Ken took the time to respond. His tweets are insightful and his critique of my review is helpful. I’ve included them here with his permission. Please read through them.

Continue reading “Remembrance of Earth’s Past by Liu Cixin: A Critical Follow-Up”