Actually, I have.
I saw an invitation on the ACFW Speculative Group Facebook page to review a new science fiction book due out in August called Trial Run by Thomas Locke, aka T. Davis Bunn. I bought Emissary, a fantasy by Locke, for my daughter. She liked it so I thought I would check out his sci-fi, too. I’m really glad I did.
The last sci-fi book I read was Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card, and I found myself initially comparing the two books. Card introduced his nine main characters in the first nine chapters; one chapter per character. Locke does something very similar except Locke’s chapters are significantly shorter; generally only a few pages long, sometimes just two.
While it took me longer to connect with a character in Locke’s book than it did in Card’s, once I did connect it was hard to put Trial Run down. It’s all there – action, mystery, a hint of romance, and an intriguing “technology” for the lack of a better word. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Locke knows how to write. It’s pretty easy to see why he’s won so many awards. He knows his craft.
For me it was refreshing to read a science fiction story that is completely clean with no obvious agenda. And speaking of agendas, this book is not overtly Christian. If you’re looking for a salvation message, you won’t find it in Trial Run. However, I did see a sliver of opportunity for future books in the series. It will be interesting to see where Locke goes with it.
As a writer, it’s interesting to see what Bunn is doing to build up his pen name and new audiences for genres in which he’s not known. As a reader, I enjoyed reading a good book that I can, without reservation, recommend to everyone I know.
If you want to check out a sample of Trial Run and even download a free ebook from Thomas Locke’s website, you can do that here: http://tlocke.com/fault-lines/
I had fun with the story. I hope you do, too.
Humbly submitted by H.T. Lord