Review: Spin

Series: Spin Saga: #1

(minor spoilers; although nothing more than used to be on the Goodreads summary)

I really enjoy science fiction where they take a really big / weird idea and just run with it. Spin is exactly that sort of book. In a nutshell, one night all of the stars seem to go out. Over the book, the protagonists discover that not the stars didn’t actually go out, but rather the Earth was enveloped in a shell that is causing time on Earth to run roughly 100 million times slower, while at the same time preventing any ill effects therefrom.

It’s a really cool idea and lets the author really jump through time in a way that not many novels can successfully pull off. On the level of the characters, we follow the main characters from the time the stars go out when they are children through the rest of their lives, jumping sometimes decades at a time (roughly in two different timeslines: one starting at age 10 and jumping forward, the other staying relatively constant towards the end of the timeline). On the scale of the rest of the universe, our sun grows old and warms the rest of the solar system, the stars all move about, and our galaxy even collides with another.

There is an interesting mix of high level science fiction on how the world changes as an impact of the Spin (the name of the shell enclosing the Earth for reasons that I never quite caught) with the low level lives of the characters. I didn’t particularly like any of the characters, which is unfortunate, but having them ground the story was I still think a good choice.

Overall, solid big-idea science fiction. Well worth the read.