With the recent release of Mark Hodder’s latest novel, A RED SUN ALSO RISES (Del Rey UK), a great many blogs have been praising the author’s ability to surprise and defy expectations, and readers have been beguiled by Hodder’s (sometimes twisted!) imagination and excellent prose.
For example, the Eloquent Page:
‘It struck me that this novel positively revels in the unexpected. Each time I thought I had an inkling about where the plot was going next, my suspicions proved to be entirely incorrect. I do like when a book defies my preconceived notions and takes me somewhere unexpected. I’ve not read any of Mark Hodder’s other novels, but based on my experience with this one I’ll have to remedy that situation quick smart.’
SF Signal referred to the novel as ‘vivid and interesting… [with] an enthusiastic audacity’; SFF World has described it as a ‘cracking planetary romance’. Little Red Reviewer thought ‘the pacing is spot on, the characters have hidden depths, the end is mad-cap in a way only Hodder can do, and… the aliens are incredible.’ The Speculative Scotsman has referred to the novel’s setting as ‘deeply weird but unambiguously wonderful’, with a ‘curious sort of beauty’. Stefan Raets, who is more familiar with Hodder’s work, and writing for Tor.com, said A RED SUN ALSO RISES, with its ‘the grin-inducing Hemingway-by-way-of-Chtulhu title… [is] pleasingly weird, but more importantly, it’s also quite good’. Raets continues, describing this ‘incredibly entertaining, fast-paced page turner’ thus:
‘Imagine if Jasper Fforde and a late-career Philip K. Dick read Brian Aldiss’ Helliconia trilogy and decided to try something similar, but, you know, weird it up a bit? … This strange, surprising novel combines elements of steampunk and planetary adventure in ways I just hadn’t seen done before, and that alone makes it more than worth a look.’