Monday, April 20, 2015
Seth's review of The Evolutionist by Avi Sirlin
In 1852, Alfred Wallace, a brilliant young collector of scientific specimens, pursues his pioneering fieldwork in the Malay archipelago, crystallizing his ideas about evolutionary theory—for which he will never be credited. This fascinating historical novel explores a key thinker on evolution and raises important questions about a neglected scientific figure.
(Synopsis from Goodreads.)
Well what can I say about this book? I liked it, that’s for sure. But when I began reading it, I thought it was going to be something entirely different. I blame my predilection for horrible sci-fi on that. I couldn’t help waiting for the inevitable twist you know? Like, for instance in Congo where the apes turn out to be semi-intelligent beings or something like that. But instead, what I got was a fairly interesting historical fiction about how Wallace goes about his life, and the assertions that he makes independently of Darwin about the origin of species. It’s not a riveting, on the edge of your seat read, but what it is, is a nice read you can curl up in your chair with a cup of coffee to read. As an aficionado of scientific reads, I was not disappointed in this book in the least, and I find it up there in my reading standards. Unfortunately I can’t help shaking the feeling this could have done with a bit more embellishing, maybe with a flying saucer or two thrown into the mix, possibly some vampires. I blame The Last American Vampire for skewing my perception on this one.
Seth gives The Evolutionist: 4/5.
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I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Neither Seth nor I were compensated in any way for this review.