Abort Book Review!
Ta da!!! Told you I’d be back with reviews again! Famous last words, but I’m feeling confident!
First, a very happy release day to C.D. Hulen and Abort! This story is so thought-provoking and stirring, and I’m so honored to have been sent an ARC!
It’s easy to tell when someone is dead, but what makes them alive? Is it the memories they keep, or the pain they feel, or the love they share? For Cecilio, the first colony of Proxima B, the answer could bring prosperity or crack the very foundations of society.
After a five-year leave of absence, Commander Mason Wyatt is sent to an antique starship with the chance to earn back his rank and bury his past. All he must do is uphold the answer: life is what Cecilio says it is. But as the starship nears Proxima B, Mason’s past boils to the surface and Cecilio’s answer begins to unravel.
Admittedly, I wasn’t too sure how the author could pull off this book. Pro-life science fiction isn’t exactly something you find every day, but that’s part of what makes it so alluring. In fact, pro-life fiction at all is a rarity in the literary world. Throughout history, political and social movements have inspired authors and their work, and this novella has joined the ranks of stories that have the potential to change hearts and minds.
The non-linear storytelling was one of the main aspects that I found myself admiring. Hulen provides motivation for his characters while furthering the suspense.
The characters begin the story as disoriented as the reader, and it was an interesting and engaging tactic to allow the reader to learn what’s happening along with the character.
Primarily set on a spaceship in the depths of space, the story never feels limited to the enclosed space. The setting is as vivid as the intriguing cover.
Although this book captured my attention, I did have a hard time understanding the descriptions. I don’t read science fiction very often so that undoubtedly contributed to the occasional confusion. For example, I found myself struggling to visualize the spaceship layout, but by the end, I think I had a good grasp of the spacecraft. Additionally, as much as I loved the complex characters and getting to know them, a few more physical descriptions would have made it easier to visualize them.
For such a small book, this packs such an emotional punch. I found myself attached to the characters, and endlessly amazed by how Hulen weaves such an impactful story in as few pages as he has. He provides just enough detail to become engrossed in the story and understand it staying direct and focused on the plot.
The literary symbols and metaphors made me feel like I was reading a classic, and I’m sure there are even more that I missed and will find on a reread.
Perhaps my favorite part of this novella is how it addresses difficult and controversial themes in a compelling way. This story is marketed as pro-life, and I’ll admit I didn’t see how this could be written to include more than just a passing reference to these themes. However, Hulen weaves them in seamlessly. Not only does this story powerfully make the case against abortion, it also stresses the chasm that can lie between belief/societal acceptance and truth.
There were a couple of scenes that could feel a wee bit preachy, but the tension in those moments gradually built and they also felt genuine and I didn’t really find myself bristling at them. That being said, readers who don’t enjoy stories with overt allegorical elements might find this novella isn’t their cup of tea.
This story reminds me of the 19th-century novels that preach redemption and upright morality. It’s books like these that could lead to a cultural revival. I love how this novella takes a brave stand for the intrinsic value of life while being exciting and nerve-wracking. I can’t wait to read more of Hulen’s work!
I would recommend this powerful novella to all sci-fi lovers (and readers in general) ages 13+. There’s no content to be concerned about, but some of the symbols, themes, and metaphors might only be caught by an older audience.
Older characters drink occasionally, and that’s it!
A quick note, though: This book is distinctly pro-life, so this could be a great way to start a conversation about abortion with one’s children if parents choose to read this with their kids.
I was sent an ARC of Abort in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and views expressed are my own.