Review: Ten Thousand Thunders by Brian Trent

Ten Thousand Thunders by Brian Trent
Flame Tree Press (October 2018)
288 pages; $16.48 hardcover; $10.37 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

There was a time when I immersed myself in sci-fi, long before I discovered horror and it took over my reading experience. Every now and again, it’s nice to go back and visit those days, and that’s just what I did with this epic, hard sci-fi novel by Brian Trent.

How does one know right away they’re reading a science fiction novel?  Try this opening line on for size: 

Fourteen-and-a-half hours after being killed in the shuttle explosion, Gethin Bryce found himself in a newly sculpted body staring at his hands.

Ten Thousand Thunders takes a wildly imaginative look at one possible future where humans are living on Mars and there’s even an AI colony on the moon, but there are restrictions on further colonization and this has folks fired up on both sides of the issue.

Gethin Bryce now finds himself at the forefront of an investigation into a lunar explosion and the destruction of the shuttle on which he was a passenger. Not just to find those responsible, but the reasons for their violence.

It takes time to acclimate to the world the author has built in this novel. Take Mars, for example…

Mars, where the cities crawled with screaming toddlers or wide-eyed pubescents. The younger generation was already… changing, too. Martian gravity encouraged a beanpole look, with legs like stilts and long, swinging arms, graceful necks, torsos stretched like a troop of gingerbread men pinched at the waist to achieve an elongated look. Funhouse mirror people.

Although Ten Thousand Thunders requires a rather generous willingness to suspend disbelief, it more than makes up for it in story. If anything, the work suffers from too much story. At times I found myself having to reread portions of the book to get a better grip on what was going on.

Majestic in scope, Ten Thousand Thunders is an elaborate look at a future somewhere between utopia and dystopia.  But wait, there’s more: Brian Trent is already at work on a sequel. Despite the challenges in reading a book so massive in scope, I’ll be back.


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