Red Moon - Kim Stanley Robinson

**** Unexpectedly engaging

I decided to read this book because I needed to immerse myself in the lunar atmosphere while writing my current WIP (work in progress) and I must admit that, after the experience with “Red Mars” and “Green Mars” (I have yet to read the third book in the trilogy) I was afraid of being thrown into a scientific-political-psychological treatise, studded with short stories of different characters. Instead, I was positively surprised to realise that this novel had only a few characters and only followed their stories.
Of course, Robinson can’t help but stuff his writing of information, especially on political matters, but the fact that the perspective of the narrative originated mostly from Chinese characters (hence the “red” of the title) caught my attention.
“Red Moon” is a book that tries to imagine the political evolution, linked to the technological one, of China in the near future, and it does so through a small number of characters with different characteristics, well shown to the reader, with whom it is easy to immediately feel close. This makes the reading flow quickly, due to the way in which the narrated events follow each other without pause and also thanks to the non-excessive length of the novel.
Actually, the Moon does not occupy the whole story. A good part of it takes place in China, a China of the future that is shown to us in an effective and engaging way. Yet the Moon is at the centre of everything.
The technological part is as always very accurate and characterised by a remarkable plausibility, able to push the reader’s mind to see the events as a future that will be become real in due course.
Personally I appreciated the choice of the author to show some places of the Moon, such as the base at the south pole, the one in the libration zone and the settlement inside a crater, both for what regards the real landscapes, recreated perfectly in my mind from his beautiful evocative prose, and for his imaginative ability in proposing what humanity will build in those places.
Everything is favoured by a smooth reading, in the good meaning of the term, that is to say that, even through a language that is anything but simple and banal, the desire to know what would happen later pushed me to go on and the beauty of Robinson’s prose made things easier.

Red Moon on Amazon.

Troika - Alastair Reynolds

***** Disquieting and with an unexpected ending

This science fiction gem differs from the epic novels that Reynolds has accustomed me to, not only because of its length (it is indeed a novella), but above all for the apparent simplicity of the plot. The story is told from the point of view of Dimitri Ivanov, a Russian cosmonaut, on two parallel timelines. It offers a pessimistic image of the future, in which space exploration has practically stopped due to the interaction with a mysterious huge artefact of alien origin, which the Russians call Matryoshka.
In a timeline, we see Dimitri escaping from a structure for mental patients and trying to reach someone to reveal what he discovered in his last space mission. The mission is shown in the other timeline, in which he and two other colleagues are approaching the Matryoshka and preparing to take samples.
In the alternative future in which the events occurring to this cosmonaut are narrated, only Russia has maintained a minimum of space activity, while the rest of the world surrendered to the impossibility of revealing the enigma concerning the alien artefact. And the same Russian cosmonauts are driven in their search more by necessity of survival than by the desire for discovery. If what they discover won’t be pleasing to their government, they could still come to a bad end.
A sense of anguish pervades both timelines and the absence of division into chapters urges the reader, prompting them to complete the reading as soon as possible. I particularly appreciated the whole space part of the story, which, as in all Reynolds’s works, mixes rigorous science with aspects which, due to their origin, go beyond our ability to establish how realistic or not they can be. The more I went on, the more I grew curious to know what was hidden within the Matryoshka.
And the answer comes in an unexpected and therefore satisfying ending, not so much for its content, which, when you think about it, is anything but original, but rather for the skill of the author in distracting the reader and then surprising them.

Troika on Amazon.

House of Suns - Alastair Reynolds

***** Splendid space opera that leaves you open-mouthed

This is Reynolds’s third book I’ve read so far and once again I find myself faced with something totally different. In “Century Rain” I’d found a completely original approach to time travel and uchronia, without being either of them. In “Revelation Space” I had immersed myself in a dark and pessimistic space opera. In “House of Suns” instead I was overwhelmed by the irrepressible imagination of the author, who astonishes the reader and presents them with a future characterised by a considerable optimism.
Despite the enormous differences between these three books, I could recognise the author thanks to his highly refined, rich prose and, of course, the presence of numerous elements of hard science fiction, despite being space opera. Indeed, it’s evident that Reynolds is a scientist in the choice of themes to be explored through narration. Although having to incorporate technologies that are very distant from the current ones (and very probably never reachable), he still manages to maintain a certain scientific plausibility on some of the dynamics of the story’s development (for example, through the use of spaceships that do not exceed the speed of light), mixing, with wisdom, imagination and astrophysics and thus giving the reader the opportunity to learn something new, while scenarios that leave them speechless unravel in their mind.
Even I, while following the adventures of the two protagonists (the clones called Campion and Purslane), found myself vividly imagining the places in space shown through their eyes, almost as if I could see those places or were there with them.
At the beginning, their adventures proceeded without me having the faintest idea where the book was getting at. Moreover, the choice to use the first person for both protagonists and for a third narrative voice (Abigail Gentian, the creator of the Gentian line, to which the clones belong) is quite destabilising (at the beginning of each chapter you need to figure out who is talking) and I believe that, along with the length of the book, it could discourage from reading. And in my case, it was almost succeeding. But then I realised that I had done well to continue, as the various open threads began to connect and the first twists occurred. The very choice to always use the first person showed a well-defined meaning, taking away from me the fear that it was due to some sloppiness on the part of the author. At a certain point, I didn’t care anymore to try to understand the direction of the story, but I preferred to let myself be dragged by it, happy that there was still so much to read and that the end was far away. And as I got closer to it, my wonder and enjoyment increased.
I cannot and will not say more about the plot, since it is so vast and complex that any attempt to indicate some salient points would be insufficient. I just say that I rarely happened to see so many ideas in the same novel and all so well developed. It’s a long book not because it has a slow rhythm, but because a lot happens, enough to satisfy, at least for a while, the hunger for new stories of anyone who loves to read science fiction.
And in fact, once I finished reading it, it was hard for me to find another book to read that could stand comparison with this one.

House of Suns on Amazon.

Sphere - Michael Crichton

***** Sci-fi technothriller, with a psychological twist

In general, when I read a book on which a film was based, I like to make comparisons, to understand the choices made to make this type of transposition possible, and to give the characters the faces of the actors, during my reading experience.
In this case I couldn’t do it, because I couldn’t remember anything about the film. I thought that going on in reading my memory would be awakened, but that wasn’t the case. I don’t know if it is due to the fact that the film had not impressed me (yet it seems to me that I liked it) or the excessive differences between the two products. The fact is, I found myself reading this book without knowing anything about the story and I could therefore enjoy all the twists.
This novel is part of a pattern typical of many of Crichton’s successful works. The core of it is a scientific/technological topic, in this case the extreme conditions of a submarine base to which a sci-fi “discovery” is added (I won’t give any details to avoid spoilers), on which the author provides us with a lot of information throughout the book. Around it he creates a story with a protagonist, a psychologist called Norman, which is narrated from the point of view of the latter. Then he adds another whole series of characters, each with their own role and characteristics. In this context, the scientific/technological element appears perfectly under control, but in reality this is only what the characters are falsely convinced of. At some point, however, something goes wrong, yet another demonstration that making a not entirely considered use of science and technology, driven by curiosity and the desire for discovery, is always a big mistake. And from that moment on, the characters begin to die, except for a few, who are eventually saved.
To all this, in this novel, a strong psychological element is added. Yes, because the answers that the characters are looking for are not in the subject of their research, but inside themselves. And “Sphere” is nothing but Norman’s psychological journey, who as a normal man in an exceptional situation brings out the worst and the best of himself.
Everything takes place whilst keeping the reader turning the pages and forcing him to continue reading a book that has a structure that is anything but traditional (there are no numbered chapters, but a set of scenes without interruption, occasionally interspersed with a title), up to the ending, which, if we think about it, is the only one possible for such a story.

Sphere on Amazon.

Amnesia - Michael Ridpath

**** Story with a predictable outcome, saved by a smart expedient towards its end

I immediately want to say that the final expedient has nothing to do with the plot. This is an idea that mixes fiction and reality, which I always appreciate a lot in novels. In this case it was able to increase my rating by one star.
The novel, for my taste, is not worth more than three.
But let’s proceed in an orderly fashion.
The book develops in two timelines. The one set in the present sees the young protagonist Clémence, who finds herself having to look after the eighty-three-year-old Alastair after the latter has lost his memory due to a fall. The one in the past is the book that the two of them are reading together and that tells some events of the man’s life when he was young, culminating in the death of the love of his life.
The part in the past is undoubtedly the best part of the whole novel. Here the characters come to life, also thanks to the evident greater familiarity that the author has in showing them through the point of view of a man. The story unfolds between France, Capri and then Scotland, and each place emerges from the pages with all its colours, involving the reader and giving them the impression of being there.
In contrast, the part set in the present (which is actually 1999) seems to be written by a novice author. The character of Clémence is two-dimensional. Her being overly naive and gullible appears unrealistic. Her reasoning seems a bit of a stretch to say the least. No person would arrive at certain conclusions, on which their decisions are then based, evidently driven by the need to bring the plot in a certain direction and not by logic. Moreover, the setting and the small number of characters, instead of contributing to the increase of the suspense and the claustrophobic sense of the narrative, end up highlighting the weakness in the characterisation of the same characters, which appear far too banal.
As for the crime at the core of the story, as much as the author strives to send us astray, in such a shamelessly obvious way, this has very little mystery. Just think about it for a moment and you realise that only one person can be the murderer: the only one who would gain an advantage from the death of Sophie. I never had any doubts about their identity and I found the fact that the other characters, especially Alastair, didn’t even think about it for a moment simply impossible to accept.
Towards the end we find some details that were not deductible from the rest of the plot and only for this reason I must say that I read it almost greedily. The narration of how the events rush to the resolution, together with the above-mentioned final expedient, save the book, but only because, in fact, they are at the end.
Finally, I found it a bit strange that they were talking about a novel in the novel, when, taking into account the length of the chapters read by the characters (which they said were the whole book), you can at most end up with a novelette. Yes, I understand the limited space in the book, but then they would have rather specify that some parts had been skipped (read by the characters and not reported, because not important) or that it was simply a long story.
Overall, however, it was an interesting read, if only because this novel has a certain originality in the way it was structured. I also realise that it is probably a rather hasty work, which the author enjoyed writing to develop an idea that had come to him, without any fancy of giving rise to a product of high literary level in the scope of thrillers. But, all things considered, despite its faults, it plays very well its entertaining purpose.

Amnesia on Amazon.

Night Without Stars - Peter F. Hamilton

 ***** A sumptuous conclusion (for now?) for the Commonwealth Universe

Every time I read a new space opera by Hamilton I think this author has reached the maximum of his expression and that the next book, especially considering that this universe contains seven of them, cannot possibly be better than this.
Every time I find out I was wrong.
“Night Without Stars” is a wonderfully complex novel. It is the second part of the duology titled “Chronicles of the Fallers”, yet, having read the first book (“The Abyss Beyond Dreams”) more than a year ago and remembering very little of it, I think you can almost read this last one as standalone (although I do not recommend that), as it mostly has a narrative arc of its own, within which the links to the previous volume of the series are quickly explained and what is needed in relation to the entire Commonwealth Universe is mentioned.
Before starting to read it, I wondered what Hamilton could have come up with, since the story took place again on the planet Bienvenido. I feared a revival of the themes already seen but, instead, I had really nothing to worry about.
The story, after some introductory (but no less exciting) chapters, moves forward for two and a half centuries, a period of time that determines significant changes on Bienvenido, now that it has been expelled from the Void and can finally make use of technology, including the aerospace one (so dear to me). And in this renewed setting new characters come to life, around which parallel narrative lines are created and in which it is natural to the reader to identify themselves, despite often those characters are one against the other. Each storyline is compelling even without having to look at the big picture and, in this regard, I find the idea of dividing the work into books very apt.
There are also some old characters, which I had to get acquainted with again because of the time passed after reading the previous book (and the Void Trilogy), and which allow the reader to accurately reconnect the threads of the general plot and be led towards its complex development.
And it was to this very complex story, which accompanied me for a few weeks of (deliberate) slow reading, that I returned with interest every evening, and then left it without regret for sleeping, certain that I would find it there waiting for me the next day.
The rhythm at the beginning is slow, to allow the reader to settle in (and what a wonderful setting!), then it becomes a crescendo that in the last quarter of the novel turns into a succession of twists tending towards an ending that is almost impossible to predict.
Meanwhile, Hamilton does not just make you live on Bienvenido, but also shows you other unimaginable worlds (apart by him, of course), other more or less peaceful alien species, introduces you to new aspects of the villains, the alien species called Fallers (who “eggsum” their prey and replace it), and even manages to make you like one of them (or at least he succeeded with me).
It is difficult to tell anything else about this novel without revealing too much about the plot. I can only say that, if you have come to consider the idea to read it, a sign that you certainly already know and appreciate Hamilton at least from the previous book, this time too you won’t be disappointed.

Before I Go To Sleep - S. J. Watson

***** Excellent suspense, even if it does not maintain its originality until the end

I definitely liked this thriller. It has everything you need to define a good book: a basic theme not yet overused, a good twist towards the end with a breaking out of events that leads to a resolution and a perfect open ending.
Memory loss during deep sleep, in fact, isn’t a easy theme to use in a novel, especially if the novel is all told from the point of view of the character who suffers from this particular type of amnesia. I believe the author has succeeded in identifying himself with Christine’s mind and transmitting this identification to the reader.
It is also clear that he did some research.
Some passages reminded me of a documentary I watched several years ago about a man suffering from a serious short-term memory disorder: it was reset every seven seconds, while he remembered well the times before the onset of the disease. And so he lived in a state of confusion, with the constant feeling of having just woken up from a coma, and it all happened every seven seconds. A real hell, witnessed by his useless attempts to keep a journal in which he kept writing, in a crescendo of frustration, that had just woken up and that what was written in the previous pages was not his work.
Something of the kind also appears in this novel in relation to Christine’s condition at the beginning of her infirmity (perhaps the author watched the same documentary?), then evolved into a form of more “manageable” amnesia, which allows the author to create a story around it from the point of view of the person affected.
Also in this case there is a journal, which actually is the majority of the text of the book.
I find the idea of using a journal quite inspired, although it forces you to suspend your disbelief from time to time to accept the fact that the protagonist finds the time to read it all every day, given its length (or even that by reading only some parts always catches those that will then come in handy on that day), but then fiction has accustomed me to quite other artifices.
Of course, the twist towards the end was obviously awaited, because it was clear that, in the sea of insecurity in which the author had made us surf for so many pages, some truth had to be hidden that had not been well developed (on purpose). Rather, the way in which a certain subject is avoided as much as possible immediately led me to suspect that the solution was there. In fact, compared to the main character, I knew I was reading a thriller and that therefore there had to be a villain. And in such a context it was obvious that the bad guy was a certain person, but the way this person was placed in the story could hardly be inferred from the elements made available to the reader. And that’s why for me it was a twist, in spite of everything.
But there is a criticism that I feel I have to rise. The character of the villain isn’t completely clear to me. The way in which it wasn’t properly developed, just to avoid bringing the reader’s doubts there, makes it yet another cliché. Perhaps this story would have been truly original if that character had not been the villain.
And this is the only element that jars in a decidedly enjoyable book, to whose pages I used to return every evening with curiosity.
Perhaps even the resolution of the story is a bit hasty, and a bit too lucky for the protagonist, but despite these flaws I decided nevertheless to give this novel five stars, especially thanks to the open ending, which is much more honest and, above all, realistic than any happy ending.

On this book the film of the same name was based, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong.

Before I Go To Sleep on Amazon.

Park Lane - Frances Osborne

*** Great premises, but plot full of flaws highlighted by the ending

I loved this book until before the last chapter, then everything collapsed. I was captured by the London setting just before the First World War, during and after it. The historical reconstruction is so accurate that it brings that period back to life in the mind of the reader.
I found particularly interesting the way in which people’s mentality is represented, above all the way in which women tended to feel insecure, inferior, for the simple fact of being women, aggravated in the case of one of the two protagonists (Grace) by her social class.
Although Beatrice (the other main character) has become part of the suffragettes, she lacks the self-confidence expected in a “revolutionary”. She feels continually out of place, gripped by the fear that drives her to desire to escape so that she can return to the tranquillity of her tedious life as a rich young woman, but at the same time she does not escape, for fear of that tranquillity, which makes her feel useless. What moves her is not idealism, but the search for the emotion that lacks her everyday life. She is very far from the strong woman who is the typical heroine in the novels and this makes her somewhat realistic.
But what glued me to the pages of the book is the unexpected way in which the characters find themselves interacting in the story. The curiosity to find out what would happen next pushed me to read one chapter after another.
And during this reading there were more than a few things that bothered me, but that I put aside, looking forward to the discovery of the next event.
Among these is the character of Grace, so submissive that I had trouble imagining her as an adult. I always thought to see a timid, weak girl.
Another element of annoyance is due to the numerous coincidences. It’s fine that there’s a coincidence in a story. It’s fiction. But when they start to be two, they become less credible.
The same applies for the tragic events, linked to elements of pure bad luck, which seem a kind of stretch to bring the story to a certain direction. Which would also be fine if the result were satisfactory.
Another stretched element is added to this: the characters make important decisions that will have consequences on their lives in a moment, because of the whim of the moment or a misunderstanding that in reality would be easily clarified. This makes them completely unrealistic.
You could even overlook this, if the story ended in a way that gives meaning to everything and satisfies the reader.
But it isn’t like that.
The coincidences that emerge in the eyes of the reader slowly throughout the book are revealed to Beatrice in a moment, in the last scene. The very fact that she gets to understand everything from a few elements is in contrast with the total lack of insightfulness shown during the novel, the one that has made her a victim of huge misunderstandings. To be honest, I do not think even a person who was very perceptive could have come to the same conclusions on their own in a second without even asking a question.
That whole scene is unlikely to say the least and brought down that suspension of disbelief which I had clung to until then in order to give a positive judgment to the book, to whose reading I would return with trepidation every night.
Then the coup de grace was the fact that the book ended there, without showing anything of the consequences of that revelation, as if it were a cliffhanger, but which was not followed by another chapter or a sequel to the novel . It would’ve taken very little to transform it into an open ending, able to leave the reader at least the choice to imagine for themselves what would have happened later. And yet it wasn’t so.
In an instant, faced with that sudden and insipid ending, everything was shattered and the flaws of the book became clear to me. The worst of all is the lack of true inner growth of the characters, who remain crystallised in their flaws, without giving any real meaning to their existence within the story.
Yes, because in the end you find yourself wondering: what is this story about? What does it really want to tell?
The characters look like puppets used only to show a historical period, without playing their main role: being the reason why a story is told.

Park Lane on Amazon.

Mars and self-publishing in Varese

I returned to Varese after two years and this time I stayed there for eight days, in which I immersed myself in university life and in this beautiful Lombard city a few steps away from Switzerland. I must say that the weather has favoured me. Living in Cagliari (Sardinia), I was worried about having to fight bad weather and cold. Instead, I enjoyed mostly beautiful sunny days, which served as the setting for the conference titled “Mars: when will we go there and what will we find? ” on 5 December 2018  in the main hall of the University of Insubria and the “Self-publishing workshop in multimedia systems” between 6-11 December and addressed to the students of the same university enrolled in the courses in Communication Sciences and Communication Sciences and Techniques.

The conference on Mars was a very special event for me. I found myself sharing the table with two scientists like Roberto Orosei and Enrico Flamini of whom I had only heard so far in the news spread by ASI, INAF and the media on the web. Although it was the first time that we met in person and we had only had the opportunity to exchange information on our individual parts of the speech by e-mail, we managed to put together a smooth speech in which the individual topics treated by each of us were perfectly interlocked with each other, with different precise references that almost made think of a particular preparation, which in reality there was not!
It is really exciting to be talking to a large and interested audience about a subject that you care about with people who have the same interest and with whom you share the same scientific and science fiction references.
In my part of the conference, in addition to introducing some general notions about Mars, I have highlighted how who works in space exploration and who writes hard science fiction on the same themes are all part of the same virtuous circle. The work of scientists like Orosei and Flamini inspires authors like me to write stories that describe a plausible science and technology. In turn, stories like mine intrigue readers towards the work of those same scientists. And the interest of the public is the first engine that allows those who make science to have the necessary funding to carry out their research.

As a former scientist (I worked in university research in the past) I cannot but be happy to provide, in my small way, a contribution with my stories towards a greater public awareness of the importance of space exploration, especially in a country like Italy, which is a true world power in this area, yet this excellence is not known to most of the local population.
By putting together my fascination for the Red Planet, and in general for space, my skills in the biological field, as well as my teaching soul, I found myself writing a kind of science fiction in which I describe a realistic science, even though with some licences, by making sure that my books offer both entertainment and dissemination of science knowledge.
In particular, my intent is to show stories through the characters, through their thoughts and their senses, so that the reader can identify with them and experience on their skin what it means to live on Mars and explore it. Through Anna Persson and the other protagonists of “Red Desert” and the Aurora Saga, the reader meets the signs of the ancient passage of water, dust storms and devils, marsquakes, impact glass in a crater, blue aurora, huge barchan dunes and even the underground water of Mars, the same water whose existence was proved for the first time by the team of scientists headed by Roberto Orosei and including Enrico Flamini.

Finally, after sharing with the public my sources of inspiration (Robert Zubrin’s books “First Landing” and “The Case for Mars”) and some information on other contemporary hard science fiction authors who dealt with Mars (Kim Stanley Robinson with his Mars Trilogy and Andy Weir with “The Martian”), I left the floor to the above-mentioned speakers.
Enrico Flamini offered an overview on the past and current exploration of Mars, while Roberto Orosei reported the details of the discovery made in July 2018 with the MARSIS instrument which is on board ESA’s Mars Express orbiter: a subglacial lake of liquid water near the South Martian pole.

It seems that what I and many other science fiction writers believed to be a plausible assumption, namely that there was water trapped under the surface of Mars, is now confirmed.

In the last part of the conference a possible timeline of the future exploration was traced, up to imagine the arrival of the first humans on the Red Planet. In this regard, I found it amusing that Roberto Orosei showed precisely the imaginative timeline described in the film “The Martian”, the one based on the book that I spoke about in my own speech.
I swear we did not even discuss this detail!

Finally the round of questions arrived and perhaps the most interesting of all was the last one proposed by Paolo Musso, organiser and moderator of the event, who asked each of us if we were optimistic about the human landing on Mars in a very close future. And even here, without any particular agreement, we went from a certain pessimism of Orosei to a moderate optimism of Flamini to my full optimism, supported by the fact that the awareness and enthusiasm of the public towards space exploration is increasing more and more, thanks to the ease with which nowadays each of us has complete access to all information. I believe that the more we commit ourselves to make the common man understand the importance of this field of science and the more they will be involved in its development, even more the will in aiming on it will develop, also from an economic point of view. If this happens, and we are on our way, we will get to Mars very soon.

Starting on December 6, instead, I taught my self-publishing class for the second time. The characteristics of the course have not changed (I mentioned about it in 2016), but I think this time, compared to the previous one, there was even greater interest from the students, who proved to be very active during the lectures and asked me many questions, sometimes even anticipating topics that I would have dealt with a bit later.
It was nice to be able to teach these students what being a self-publisher really means, i.e. becoming part in a professional way of the publishing market as a real publisher who differs from the traditional ones only because the former is also the author of the books they publish.

Then there was the day of the presentation of the projects by the students, and it was really fun. It ranged from a strategy book for “Risk” to a fantasy novel, from an essay on the machines of Agostino Ramelli to a paranormal romance trilogy and so on, without interruption. The students got to the bottom of their fantasy, accompanying the presentations with images, editorial and promotional plans and in one case even a sort of soundtrack.
In the end we all wondered: but when will the book be published?
What a shame that it was only a simulation, but luckily some of those projects are real and maybe in the near future we will hear about their authors.

I’d like to conclude this brief report, which just manages to scratch the surface of everything that was done and said during those eight days, by thanking once again all the people who made possible both the conference and the course, but also in general my pleasant stay in Varese, in particular Paolo Musso and Alberto Vianelli, Roberto Orosei and Enrico Flamini, and obviously all the students of the self-publishing course and those of Professor Musso’s course with whom I had the pleasure to talk.

The Midwich Cuckoos - John Wyndham

***** Dangerous children

John Wyndham is one of those authors who in their career have explored a genre, in this case science fiction, in every possible direction and each time have created unique and unpredictable stories, through which they took the opportunity to develop interesting food for thought.
This time, Wyndham deals with the theme of alien invasion, without ever mentioning aliens, but only talking about something that like the cuckoos put their “eggs” in the “nests” of humans and from them children were born, or rather Children, with extraordinary and worrying qualities. This is accompanied by a reflection on the interaction between two species that are competing for the same territory and of which only one is destined to dominate.
A veil of uneasiness covers every page of the novel, without ever reaching excessive drama. Between long conversations characterised by British calmness and the attempt to give the whole situation a logical explanation, in the faint hope that this leads to a resolution, and watered by an excellent tea, the protagonists welcome us to Midwich, where, following a day in which the inhabitants have lost their senses (the so-called Dayout), all the women have become pregnant. Over time the Children will reveal to be something else, despite their human appearance, until they become a threat, in a crescendo of tension.
The expected resolution, given that the book was ending, but at the same time both unexpected, because of the sudden way in which it occurs, and almost obvious, takes you aback and satisfy you.
An interesting element, which I noticed in other works of his, is the role of chance. The narrating voice is found by chance outside the village with his wife on the day of the Dayout and therefore he is spared a direct involvement. Nevertheless, he closely follows the story and finds himself back in Midwich just when it is resolved. In all this we deliberately see the hand of the author who, in my opinion, with great fun, builds a perfect plot, in which every detail has a specific purpose, which, while generating disquiet, also gives a sense of security that suggests that somehow everything will be fine. And it is precisely the curiosity to know how you can ever resolve a seemingly impossible situation that drives the reader to turn one page after another and complete the reading of the book in a short time.

The Midwich Cuckoos on Amazon.