The Year Before the End – A review

Usually when you dive in to a science fiction novel, any fiction you expect to have to allow for some suspension of reality. That you have to give up some reality to accept what you are reading. And if you have any interest in space and science, sometimes it goes too far. You leave the book scratching your head. What in the world did I just finish? Maybe it’s just me, but if a sci-fi novel is far too experimental, I lose interest and it is a chore to get through. Well, I am happy to say I had none of this issue with The Year Before the End. In fact, much of it felt plausible. Not anytime soon, mind you, but eventually.

So now you may ask, why the random opening paragraph when this is supposed to be a review? Well, The Year Before the End has several explanations throughout the story. These range from histories, to how gravity is simulated, to the state of planets involved in the story’s conflict. All very believable explanations and issues, plus they were interesting to read about and clearly not half thought up explanations to keep us picky readers happy.

So, is The Year Before the End a good book? Is Mars covered in red dust? (The answer to this question is an resounding YES, if you are not aware.) The story, while starting off like a detailed space heist, quickly turns in to a solar system wide crisis as the team finds out they are in deeper than they expected. Naturally I will not ruin the story for you with long detailed analysis of the plot and characters. I’m a reviewer, not an English teacher.

I will say that the characters are well rounded and believable. There is a tiny hint of a potential romance, but it is not a heavy portion of the plot. Though the dedication of the characters to one another plays heavily. This is a story you can sink your teeth in to, and with sequels in the works this is shaping up to be a science fiction series that will keep us entertained for some time.

So, if you enjoy sci-fi, pick this up. Vidar Hokstad’s world is impressive and should be read by many! You can find information about this book and more about the series (including some amazing cover art like I used in this post) at

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