Cephalopod Coffee House

The Cephalopod Coffee House is hosted by The Armchair Squid. Visit here to see a full list of participants.

This month I read Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear. In the far future a ship is drifting through space. It's mission: to find and colonize a new planet. On this ship a man awakens with no memory of who he is or why he's there. Almost immediately the lights begin to go out, and with life support failing he's rescued by a young girl who is even more of a mystery than himself. He soon learns that something has gone very wrong on the ship, and along with the strange girl he must make his way to Hull Zero Three to find out what happened to the promise of a new world.

When I started reading Hull Zero Three, I felt as if it was very similar to the movie Pandorum. For those who aren't familiar with the movie, it involves the same basic premise of a ship looking for a new home, a man awakening with no memory, and monsters roaming the halls intent on murdering anything out of place. However, the book very quickly moved out of that familiar territory and into something completely different. The premise hooked me and the action started immediately, leaving me wondering where we going with this, but after a while I kind of got tired of all the monsters and loose threads that dangled from the plot. The main character's purpose, and the disaster that crippled the ship are revealed eventually, but they come in the last third of the book and it didn't have much of an impact on me.

Don't get me wrong, I was entertained when I was reading Hull Zero Three. The writing is good, and the setting and action are well developed. But after I gave it some thought, I felt that the execution fell short. If you really like science fiction, give it a try, but if I was rating it, I'd have to give it three out of five bananas. Not great, but not bad either. But not great.


  1. My husband is more sci-fi than I am so I'll suggest this book to him, thank you.

  2. Sounds interesting. The ending sounds like a letdown, though.

    1. Yeah, it was a little underwhelming. I don't know how it could have been better, but the way it ended just left something to be desired.

    2. I often tell my students to leave the audience wanting more. I think too many authors concentrate on starting strong at the cost of the ending. A reader should be rewarded with a strong finish.

  3. It's tough when a book bogs! I like the premise, but can imagine the conflict flagged a bit. I always find books with too few characters have issues. Do you think that happened here?
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. There are actually several characters in the book, but I felt like the most interesting ones had better stories to tell than the main character.

  4. I'm not much of a science fictiony person, but The Hurricane is.


  5. This sounds like it could be great summer reading.

    cheers, parsnip


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