I am struggling to write this review because The Explorers, by James Smythe, is one of those books that is definitely greatly enhanced by going into it blind. All I knew of it when I started it was that it was a suspense book set on a spaceship. It took a while for the suspense aspect to really emerge, and even then it was not at all what I typically picture when I hear the word “suspense”, but boy was this book a great ride. I was very excited to learn this is the first of a series, called The Anomaly Quartet.
As I was reading, both the protagonist and me as the reader seemed to feel pretty secure in the things that we know for a good portion of the book, things that had already happened a certain way. But as the story progresses both the protagonist and I learned that things were not at all what we thought. There are a number of moments that were truly unexpected, which was the biggest joy of this book. Yet it is not a crazy aliens and laser guns space books, nor is it heavy on physics or the “hard” sci fi. It is about a small group of humans, undergoing a very mundane trip on a small, private spacecraft together. People clash, they die, and a lot of things aren’t what they seem.
Simply put, I loved this book!