I tried to focus on indie books during Sci-Fi month this year and then fell off the reading boat. I hope you guys enjoy the few reviews I’ve managed to post!
I did manage to finally finish Goodbye to the Sun by Jonathan Nevair. I hear so much about the Wind Tide series and have had it on my TBR since it was released. So then #1 popped up on Chirp with an audiobook sale and I said OH PERFECT, IT’S TIME!
Overall there were some really good aspects, and others missed the mark by five miles for me, so let’s look at the book then dig into my thoughts
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Goodbye to the Sun
- Series: Wind Tide #1
- Author: Jonathan Nevair
- Publisher & Release: Self, 2021
- Length: 348 pages
- Rate & Recommend: all thoughts on the audiobook (DNF) aside, I’m rounding up to ⭐⭐⭐ for the book itself
Here’s the synopsis from Am*zon:
A nonstop thrill ride across an unstable galaxy, combining moral struggle with character-driven adventure…
Tucked away in the blue sands of Kol 2, the Motes are on the brink of cultural collapse. Razor, a bold and daring pilot, leads a last-ditch gambit against their local oppressors, the Targitians. The plan – abduct visiting Ambassador Keen Draden and use him as a bargaining chip to restore her people’s independence in the Sagittarius Arm. But when the operation unravels, Razor is forced to renegotiate terms with the arrogant diplomat.
Light years away on Heroon a radical resistance blossoms. The alluring rainforest planet haunts Keen. All his problems started there during the Patent War, but it’s where Razor’s troubles may find a solution. The moral tide ebbs, exposing an impossible choice that links their futures together more tragically than they ever thought possible.
Goodbye to the Sun: a space opera inspired by the Greek tragedy, Antigone.
A quick note on the audio: I just strongly dislike the production and couldn’t finish it. The narrator barely varies his voice or brings excitement. I don’t know if it was the voice or the recording but a lot of words, regardless of playback speed, sounded fuzzy and I kept hearing words incorrectly and became confused. The audio was a DNF after maybe one hour of playtime
So I ended up reading the Kindle version because honestly, the story wasn’t that bad once I took a break and forgot the audio. There’s a story of a rebel trying to save her people, an ex soldier turned diplomat who is carrying PTSD and war trauma, and a bunch of other interesting characters. I loved the characters and you never know what you’re going to get from their arcs.
One of my favorite tropes and one that Nevair did execute well, was bringing a place into play as a character itself. Heroon is a tropical rainforest planet in danger, with beautiful insects and trees and a true spirit of its own. In a way, Kol-2, the other main setting, also had a life of its own with blue sands and wind tides used for energy production.
I also liked the family vs honor vs loyalty vs duty themes. Who is deluded, who is willing to make what level of sacrifice, what motivates these characters at the end … All of these things play into the plot and add depth. As far as the science itself, I needed a little more about how the wind was used in these monopolies, is it stored, shared, transferred, how is the energy even stolen during raids? There was plenty of sci-fi though!
I did think there were too many planets and people and names thrown out at first, some of the politics were lost on me but at the end most of it came together. I think scope wise it’s a fairly solid space opera.
So now we are at the point where I talk about the things that drove me nuts. I hate feeling lectured by books, and there’s no way around the fact that the book spends an inordinate amount of time lecturing about gender politics. In the middle of a terse situation. It’s not normalizing something if there are multiple lectures involved and I think it went beyond a normal amount of topic exploration. Even in the middle of a heated exchange of rifle fire these characters are hand signing their genders to each other. I’m all for normalizing but not if it comes at the cost of a lecture. Also I had a hard time with the points of view – Razor was used in the present tense to summarize the action and give more insight into Keen, who then covered the “action” chapters that occured in the past. I think I wanted Razor to have a little more agency in the past tense chapters because she would have been interesting on her own, not just as a frame for Keen and other challenges of morality.
In closing, I can’t recommend the audio. I did absolutely love the settings and plot and moral conflicts. Nevair also nailed the action scenes when he didn’t slow them down with lecture or diatribe, which is just a huge pet peeve of mine. I think if you like sci-fi with a strong ethical base and plenty of twists, turns, and betrayal, check this one out!
Thanks for checking out my book review of Goodbye to the Sun by Jonathan Nevair! The book was purchased by me and read for my own enjoyment. As always, all opinions are my own ♥️