Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Sixth Discipline - Carmen Webster Buxton

Title: The Sixth Discipline
Author: Carmen Webster Buxton
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2011
Formats: Ebook

Available at:
Amazon UK
Barnes & Nobel

The Sixth Discipline is a Science Fiction story set in the far-future upon a planet called Haven that has been colonised by several different human factions. The main character Ran-Del Jahanpur is part of the Sansoussy faction, who live a basic existence in the forests that reminded me of native Americans who have developed a variety of psychic abilities. Whilst out hunting Ran-Del is kidnapped by people from the city of Shangri-la who are technologically advanced. The story then follows his captivity and subsequent introduction to the wonders of the city as well as the political intrigue of the ruling families that has led to his captivity in the first place.

I have read various other comments on this book describing it as a romance novel with some sci-fi elements thrown in. However whilst reading it I really never thought of it as being an overly romantic novel, so if you normally avoid this genre, don't let any comments about the romance aspects put you off picking it and giving it a read. Perhaps the novel is technically a romance story but I personally enjoyed the book even though I tend to avoid romance novels like the plague. Yes, there is a fundamental romantic element to the plot but I felt the book was more a sci-fi adventure novel that explores some of the politics and interactions between various different factions on Haven.

The story itself is very interesting and imaginative although I have to admit that I did find the premise behind Ran-Del's kidnapping rather weak and far-fetched at first. However, the reasons for the kidnapping are developed as the novel progresses and by midway through the novel I was willing to accept it may have been a plausible action for the people involved. The novel is relatively long compared to some of the other self-publicised novels I have read and is told in a slow and steady pace. However, the pace and length didn't cause me any issues as I don't believe there was any parts that were surplus to requirements and I enjoyed the author's writing style. I did note that there was a fundamental question still open in regards to the actions of Ran-Del's great grandfather but I found out after reading the book that there is a sequel novel and believe this may be answered there.

To summarise, I enjoyed this book and found that the romantic elements actually worked well in the overall storyline and character development. I hope to read the sequel at some point to see if it can close up the loose ends from this novel although the ending to this novel was perfectly satisfactory.