Book Review: “The Stone Man” by Luke Smitherd

“The only thing in this world more irresistible to human beings than greed is curiosity, and the need to know the answers.”

stone-manI’m a closet believer in the idea that concept is king. In an era when anyone with a word processor and internet access can publish some character dashes and call it a book, you’ve got to come up with an original idea or a new take on a concept in order to get my attention. Now, of course, once you’ve gotten me to raise my eyebrow it’s the execution that keeps me coming back for more, but without that initial spark to pique my curiosity, your book may look pretty, but it won’t be opened.

So, a story about first contact with aliens? Yep, seen it.

A story about a walking stone statue suddenly appearing in the middle of an English town, and the aftermath of what this first contact entails? Now that’s something that peeks my interest.

The Stone Man is an incredibly ambitious project for an indie author to tackle, and Smitherd delivers wonderfully on the scope of what an incident of this proportion would mean for a nation and the world. It’s not a perfect book, but its charm lies in its imperfections, from its precocious yet accessible protagonist to the realism in which the chain of events that unfold are approached. The author made some decisions in the last part of the book that left me feeling a bit unfulfilled, but ultimately this story delivers on its premise, offering a unique spin on an age old idea.

This is my first run-in with Luke Smitherd’s work, though it won’t be my last. Definitely interested in seeing what other ideas he has to explore. A solid 3.5 stars.

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