Review: The Way of the Restless by Alethea Kontis

Reviewed by Stephen Cashmore
The Way of the Restless is written quite well and is a quirky science fiction story. Perhaps it is a bit too quirky. I found it jumped around a bit too much for my personal taste. It tells the story (I think) of a rogue in the future, cloned from Elvis genes (I think), who has had a fallout with somebody he loved and is thinking about that quite a bit as he gets stuck into another job. The job is a theft of a picture from a spaceship but when he goes ahead and completes the job… complications ensue. I had better not say what they are, for fear of spoiling the story if you decide to read it.

There’s a twist at the end which I didn’t quite follow. It’s possible I could go back and read everything in great detail to find out what I’m missing, but as I read stories for pleasure I don’t want to do that. So I’m left with a vague feeling that there’s a lot in this story that I’ve missed; and I’m also left with a feeling that the main reason I’ve missed these things is that the action and the main character’s thoughts jump all over the place. There’s too much crammed in. In my opinion, either the story needs to be longer, of some of the detail needs to be removed.

Apart from its kangaroo nature, the writing is solid enough, and the dialogue is good (in some places it is very good). If you are a hard sf fan who likes a bit of a puzzle, then I expect you would include this in an anthology. But if you are a more eclectic reader looking for good, varied stories, then this probably wouldn’t suit.

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