Tor.com has a book club where you can download a free ebook every month and this book was one of their selections last year. Even though I grew up reading a lot of classic science fiction, I am sometimes wary of it because it isn’t necessarily that compelling. For instance, reading something like the Foundation books by Asimov, where it’s a lot of ideas hitting you left and right but no characters to really anchor the story. While Spin has its roots in that sort of classic sci-fi, it also features compelling characters and a really interesting story.
Tyler Dupree is a young boy when the story begins. He lives in the Lawton’s guest house with his mother, who is essentially a servant for the Lawtons. Tyler is best friends with the twin Lawton offspring, Jason and Diane. One night when they are standing outside, the sky gets dark as all of the stars and the moon are extinguished. This leads to some widespread panic and global de-stabilization. The rest of the novel is about how this catastrophe affects people. Jason goes in his father’s footsteps to work with a company to figure out the source of this problem, while Diane ends up joining a cult that believes that there is some religious significance to the situation. The novel also features interstitial chapters of Tyler and Diane at some future time when they are trying to escape somewhere and Tyler has undergone some medical experiment, but the author handles these plot interruptions skillfully and hints at what is to come.
I was kind of surprised at how much I did like this book. I think a large part of why I found it so great is the author’s skill in making interesting three-dimensional characters. I did see that it is book one of a series, but I feel like the book does just fine as a single read and it didn’t keep me hanging at the end. I would highly recommend this one.