Book Review: Caretaker

Posted May 24, 2016 by lomeraniel in Audiobooks, Review, Science-Fiction, Uncategorized / 0 Comments


My original Caretaker by Josi Russell audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Ethan and his pregnant wife embark on a stasis ship traveling to Minea, a new Human colony, making a total of 4000 passengers on board. Ethan is the last one to enter stasis, but just before that, the caretaker, the person who should be awake for the 53 years that takes the trip, suddenly dies. Ethan is locked out of his stasis chamber and must assume the role of caretaker and sacrifice his life in the new world with his wife. He is a linguist and knows nothing about spaceships, which makes things complicated for him. Five years into the trip one of the passengers wakes up, and shortly after they both discover that the ship is headed for a different planet inhabited by a dangerous race.

The premises were really good here. Somebody with no idea about technology gets unexpectedly in charge of a stasis ship for 50 years, renouncing to living his life with his wife. Exploring the spaceship and discovering that the trip is a trap was very exciting, but the way it was executed was a bit disappointing. There is a lot of unnecessary and forced romance in the book, and it also feels unrealistic, taking into account both people’s stories. Reactions and dialogs are unrealistic in general, and this doesn’t make the characters believable. I had in fact troubles to connect to them.

Despite the romance bit I quite enjoyed the first part of the book. The second part, where the alien race appears, was just boring and lacked science. Here the dialogs worsen considerably, and the enemies conversations are artificial and are just used for the author to expose some useful information for Ethan. It is also a very simplistic view, where the good aliens are beautiful and the bad ones are ugly and often called beasts. And there is no science, appearing all a bit magic-like. The two different parts lacked in continuity and felt like two different stories.

Something that bothered me was that Josi Russell has no idea about science, physics, genetics or evolution, something important if you are going to write this kind of book. I find inaccurate science in sci-fiction books very disappointing.

Patrick Lawlor did a good narrating job in general, keeping the story’s interest, but Ethan and Kaia’s voices were not differentiated enough, and there were some confusing moments while on the spaceship. At times I did not know who was talking. The alien’s voices were different enough, but a bit theatrical.

This book is not for hard science fiction lovers but will be interesting enough for those who would like some romance set in space.