25 April 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Camouflage by Joe Haldeman

CamouflageCamouflage by Joe Haldeman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Due to the fact that this book won the Nebula Award for best novel in 2006, it was quite high up on my to-read list. I don't know what the reasoning was behind why it won that prestigious award, but it didn't seem all that great to me. The story was interesting enough, but certainly not what I'd call noteworthy.

The story follows a couple of different ancient aliens that came to earth many, many years ago and had no knowledge of each other. They have both long since forgotten their origins. One of them spends most of its life as various sea creatures until taking on human form, whereas the other has always been (and can only present itself as) a human. The first one develops a real desire for knowledge and learning about what it is to be a human. The second one is pretty keen on causing pain and suffering as it cruises through life as varying sorts of bastard.

Meanwhile, an unusual object has been found on the ocean floor near Tonga in the Pacific that is somehow related to one or both of these aliens. Both of them set about trying to discover what the truth behind this mysterious object is in the hope that they may learn about their own origins and purpose. They only learn of the existence of each other quite late in the story.

It's a good tale with a nice human side to the story, but no real meat to it. There is a climax of sorts at the end, but nothing terribly exciting. I really respect Joe Haldeman as a writer, but couldn't really connect with this one.

An okay book, but only just.

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