Friday, 28 January 2011

A Trip Worth Taking: A Review of Gone to Gonega

My book review of Gone to Gonega by Brenda Lee Renwick:


Gone to Gonega by Brenda Lee Renwick is a sci-fi novel with a quirky sense of humour, a buoyant pace and a well-spun narrative. A customary alien abduction/experiment plotline is re-done with a nice fresh take and some interesting religious undertones.

The novel is Lorna’s story, an average woman with a failed marriage and bipolar disorder, who finds out she is part of an alien hybrid experiment and the aliens are back to collect her. She is not entirely thrilled with that plan, but eventually goes with them and finds out that life with aliens might not be so bad after all.

"She gasped and put a perfectly manicured hand to her glossy mouth. Without another word she turned and flounced away, her high-heeled sandals clacking her outrage across the brick walkway. I saw her fling her parcels in a creamy tan Lexus and tear out of the parking lot, no doubt on her way to pour out her adjusted version of the story to her new lover, my Greg."
This is a sci-fi book about themes and characters, with emphasis on emotion, opinion and personality as opposed to high action, although there is some dramatic tension near the end of the book. It is the likeability and real nature of the main character that makes the story work and charmingly draws in the reader. The novel has wit, an interesting plot direction and accomplished character interaction that includes a little romance and sexual heat. The subplots and background are intriguing and I found the matter-of-fact spiritual plot support (a sort of “God exists, deal with it” attitude) especially fascinating.

"I stared out the space portal at the absolute blackness of the first wormhole and shuddered. I understood that it made the trip possible within a single lifetime, but its resemblance to a black hole was chilling—especially after Professor Tamalrankai’s lecture on the subject of hell. Janalla had assured me that we would be coming out of the first wormhole soon, but that the next one was longer and would bring us nearly home. She explained to me that if we didn’t use the wormholes, even the Lazarrolians wouldn’t be able to get us there before the fourth generation from now. The nice thing about it is that we were just past the halfway point of the trip. We now had less ahead than behind."
There were one or two things I found less than stellar, such as the ease at which Lorna went with the aliens, after their full disclosure. The situation wasn’t implausible, but it seemed a bit rushed to me. And while the ending was sufficient and wrapped up the plot lines, I was hoping for more planetary scenes; I guess I have to wish for a sequel. There were also a few minor grammar errors or typos in the copy I read, but nothing too glaring.

Gone to Gonega is an enjoyable book and well worth the time to read.

On Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7902470-gone-to-gonega

2 comments:

Joylene Butler said...

Thanks, Anita. Brenda's book sounds like a lot fun. And in a world that is too often too serious, having some fun is a good thing. Thanks for the intro.

Sheila Deeth said...

Definitely sounds intriguing, and fun. You write a great book review. And now I'd like to read the book.

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