SPSFC2 Cut Post: The Nothing Within

3 Oct 2022

Welcome to the first of the SPSFC2 cut posts from Wayward Stars. As we are reading, we are facing the decision of choosing which books will be selected as our quaterfinalists, and which ones won’t advance.

We tried to have at least two members of the team reading each book, so we can have different perspectives on it, and as a way to avoid cutting a book due to not being of the style of the judge.

Our first cut is:

The Nothing Within by Andy Wiesler

Root is… different.

Though raised in a fearful society that reveres tradition and conformity, she’s irreverent, outspoken, and deeply curious. Her blindness sets her even further apart.

Centuries after the Reckoning, a global biotech plague, savage chimeras still threaten human survival. After Root hears a voice that no one else can hear, she flees into the wilderness. Outcast and hunted, she must confront a dire threat to her people–and unravel the mystery of who she really is.

Let’s see what our members say about it:

«I found the language style quite difficult to follow and engage with. The changing timelines between chapters was a little disorientating as was the numbering of the different sections and chapters. Beside being post-apocalypse, the story felt much more like a fantasy or folk tale than science fiction.» RaiFG

«While this isn’t my favorite narrative style (story-telling) for a scifi read, I do think that it can work well for post-apocalyptic books like this one. The set up felt unique but I had a hard time connecting with each storyline whenever they came back around. The transitions between the different timelines and voices felt a bit jarring at times and I would’ve preferred to spend more time with those that got the least amount of page time. I struggled to stay engaged enough to want to move the book forward at this time but do think this could be a fun read for fans of The Rampart Trilogy«. The Shaggy Shepherd

«I had a hard time connecting this writing style with a sci-fi novel. It would have been better suited as a folklore-esque book. This made for a huge disconnect while I was reading. Besides that, I had a hard time keeping timelines and characters straight. It was as if parts of the story were missing and I would get thrown into a different part of the book very quickly.» Trinity (Portable Magic)

I invite you to keep an eye on the rest of the blogs from Wayward Stars members, as we will progressively announce books that are getting cut from our slush pile, based on the impressions of the judges.