Review: Mine by Lin Sten

     Mine: (Second Edition)
Lin Sten; Kindle Edition, Published May 12, 2010 by CreateSpace; Paperback Edition, Published May 6, 2010 by CreateSpace
Selena Castillo publicly claims to be an extraterrestrial. Is it a joke, a delusion, a gimmick, or a reality?
 Tony Sturgess must believe that Selena’s claim is only a publicity stunt, or that she is insane, as he falls in love with her, because he still struggles with the racism of his white-supremacist childhood; otherwise, he is certainly the right talent agent to exploit the gimmick, despite her radical environmentalism.
 Professor Hal Bronson, on the other hand, is desperate to believe Selena’s claim after he is labeled a “crackpot” for hypothesizing that the SETI silence is due to a global technological catastrophe that every advancing civilization must face: she might be a witness.
 But if Earth is to be saved, from whom and for whom will it be? Through humor, romance, and suspense, MINE entertains while its human characters resolve a case of mistaken insanity.
 – Amazon on Mine

After receiving such a kindly sent paperback copy of mr. Lin Sten‘s novel, Mine, I couldn’t help myself, I read it. I’m a strong supporter of e-books, don’t get me wrong, but a paperback is more tempting when you read e-books on your PC and there’s a zillion degrees Celsius out already.
I will start by saying I found the paperback awesome, product-wise. Great, smaller size, fully compatible with reading on a a subway/train/buss or on the go, compact, tidy, great feel of the page (yes, I am aware I always pay a lot of attention to that :p). Commodity-wise during the reading experience, I might have liked it to be a bit bigger in format, with a bit bigger fonts, but maybe that’s just me. The cover is cool, mysterious, and evocative of nature, which I find is a great reference since the book itself does play on a bit of an environmentalist note. 
On to the content, shall we? First thing I will say about it is, to me it feels like it’s not quite targeted to a huge public. The style of writing is more like non-fiction then fiction in my humble opinion, as you read it feels more like a scientific, chronologically descriptive account of all relevant facts and theories. I mean, layman’s terms, it does play with quite a lot science. You will be delighted (or somewhat puzzled) to find quite copious amounts of scientific reasoning, scientific theories, all the good stuff you’d expect from graduates, physics doctorates, and such. Has it pleased me to read the science-focused bits? Honestly, not quite, I never did have a passion for physics. Although a degree of scientific structure is to be expected in a sci-fi book, this to me felt a bit too scientific to be actually called fiction that much. If I were to describe it, I’d say it’s more of a hypothetical exploration of one or more thesis, that given a certain context play out to prove moral, ethical points by the end of it all.
 Having said that, I wouldn’t call myself an avid sci-fi reader, more like a neophyte to the field.
Novel-wise though, the characters, the tempo of the action, the relationships that develop throughout the book feel somewhat dislodged from the sentimental aspect of the concepts, being described more in fact-related detail then in emotional depth. I felt they could have come across as more palpable, and by doing so titillating me to invest myself more in the novel aspect of Lin Sten’s work, and less in the scientific aspects of it.
Of course, the plot is very much so intriguing. But what I’ve found to be the strongest points of the novel are the ethical debates that it stirred within as the plot went along, pinching my thoughts in all the right places, reviving many dilemmas I’ve found myself in over time, regarding the human race’s behavior, the ways of the world in general, and different scenarios that I have coquetted with regarding possible alien encounters and their results.
When the time came to rate it, I found myself indecisive. Were I to rate based on a more non-fiction basis, regarding the theoretical explorations and suppositions based on likely scenarios, I would give it a 4 butterflies rating, actually. But as is, it’s more a 3 butterflies rating, or maybe more like a 3,5 I’d say.
 I would dearly recommend this to sci-fi readers, as it has a strong plot, a lovely development of it, a beautifully built universe. I would also dearly recommend it to anyone that enjoys a bit of mind-muscle exercise, as it isn’t in my opinion the kind of novel you wanna read on some lazy afternoon, when you just wanna take it easy and half-switch-off your analytical mind. The content, the style of writing, all of the topics it touches on will give you a good mind-workout.

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