5 stars – Aaron J Fortune
This was a brilliant book. I devoured it in a couple of nights and it was one of those stories I simply didn’t want to end. The characters haunted me for months afterwards, so much so that I have recommended it numerous times and now feel compelled to leave a brief review. I read a lot of science fiction, but often think of it as a guilty pleasure and feel the need to read a “classic” novel every third or fourth book, usually one I was supposed to read at University, just to keep my mind sharp and assuage any of that guilt. I simply find myself unable tolerate poor writing and that rules out most “popular” fiction, especially science fiction, and often find myself limited to a much smaller group of modern and classic authors whose command of English I believe to be superb and who also have the unique ability to spin both an interesting and novel yarn.
Roz Morris’ Lifeform Three is just the type of book I relish. It’s quirky, original, thought provoking to the point of being somewhat disconcerting, and very well written; like the best books, the story stays in one’s mind for weeks afterward and crops up every now and then years later. I’ve even recommended Lifeform Three to readers whom I know are not fond of science fiction, because while the main character is an android named Paftoo and it’s set in the future, the book focuses on universal themes of freedom, identity and purpose; the science fiction elements seem almost incidental and the characters and setting are easily relatable, even to people who believe they don’t care for sci-fi. I highly recommend this book. Once you start reading about Paftoo, his horse and his bleak, mysterious world, you won’t be able to stop reading, and once you finish the book, his story and his fate will linger in your mind, perhaps forever.