Title: The Last Day of Captain Lincoln
Author: EXO Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Edition: Kindle (133 pages)
Publisher: EXO Books (Nov. 15, 2015)
Date Read: 1/26/17
Captain Lincoln’s last day is the hardest day of his life.
An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come. For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity.
Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.
The End is just the beginning.
A few months ago, I was contacted by EXO Books, with an offer to read and review a novel titled, The Last Day of Captain Lincoln. At the time, I was sure I hadn’t heard of it before, but after digging into my memory, I recalled seeing a few reviews of this book floating around the blogosphere. Of course, I pulled up those reviews to see what others were saying before I gave the author my decision… and it appeared that everyone who had the opportunity to read this short story seemed to highly enjoy and recommend it. What more did I need to make my decision? So, I accepted the offer.
Do you feel that knowing exactly when and how you will die would make things easier in the end? This novel gives us the answer. Set in a futuristic time on a futuristic ship, The Last Day of Captain Lincoln follows our main character on his last day alive. Experiencing his thoughts, feelings, and actions, we journey with him through one hell of an emotional roller coaster (or should I say “orbit”?). ← my attempt at humor… get it? Space and such? Orbit? 😉
Science Fiction is a genre that I don’t delve into very often. I enjoy the genre, I’ve read many great Science Fiction books, but it’s not at the top of my favorites list. Like many of the books I read, I went in not knowing what to expect, other than what I had heard from other readers through their raving reviews. While I did find myself overwhelmingly bored for the first two or three chapters, things eventually began to get deep. Emotionally deep.
The main theme of this book is: life and death, and coping with the latter.
The representation of life and death was well explored throughout Lincoln’s final day. At the start of each chapter, we are given inspirational and philosophical quotes from previous Earthlings, such as Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and Abraham Lincoln, just to name a few. I loved these quotes, and they absolutely worked in favor of the story.
World building didn’t play a huge role, because after all, it is a “short” story. There wasn’t a whole lot of time for much world building, so we just got a quick lesson as to how the Ship worked, the rules and regulations, and everything else. Which was totally fine by me. This was more of a character driven story, delving into the mind of a man who is about to die, and that’s why I wasn’t picky when it came to the world building. While reading, I was interested more in Lincoln’s feelings and what was going on in that brain of his, knowing he would never open his eyes again after that night.
“Ours is a random moment in eternity — a tiny thread of precious time among uncountable moments, across an incomprehensible large Galaxy.”
As far as narration… The Last Day of Captain Lincoln is told to us through third person point of view, which happens to be my favorite narrative perspective, actually. Sometimes it’s difficult for a writer to portray the feelings of another person accurately and with ease, but to my surprise, this was successfully accomplished one hundred percent. The author was able to reflect to us Lincoln’s emotional state in such a way that has you completely understanding and sympathizing with what is really happening to him.
The story is short as it is, yes… but honestly, I feel there were several parts that could have been edited out of this and it would have had nothing but a positive effect on the overall storyline. There was a certain scene in the book where a man named Salk is giving a speech about peppers. Yes, you heard me… peppers. This “pepper talk” went on for a few pages, and I began asking myself, “Is this going somewhere?” It did, in fact, go somewhere… but where it did go wasn’t enough of a brain buster for me to feel it was needed. So, it wasn’t. I felt that there were several paragraphs throughout the book that were just unneccessarily long and drawn out. Remove those extra filler paragraphs/pages and it would have been much, much better, if you ask me.
The illustrations in the book weren’t the best, but they weren’t terrible either. I actually enjoyed them very much, as they helped build on the imagination as far as description and expression. The illustrations provided insight into Lincoln’s situation; his feelings, his emotions, his environment. And I feel that the artist depicted these areas very well through her drawings. I can’t say that they were the most lovely pictures, but they got the point across and that’s all that matters. Art is the same as beauty… it’s all in the eye of the beholder. And these illustrations didn’t hold my eye… but they sure did hold my heart.
“Was I who I set out to be?, was the very last thing he thought.”
Overall, I feel EXO Books did a mediocre job displaying a man’s last day alive, but it wasn’t a total bust, either. Did I find some parts boring? Sure. Did I find some parts outrageously useless? Yes. But did I overall enjoy the book? Absolutely. It took me a chapter or two to really find myself understanding and liking the book, but it did happen. And I’m grateful for that. Perseverance is a key to pushing through sometimes and I wasn’t going to allow myself to put this book down. As far as recommendations go, I’m not sure that I’d say I’d recommend this book to Science Fiction fans, since the book’s sole purpose wasn’t focused on the sci-fi aspect. If you’re a reader looking for something more meaningful and philosophical, then this one is definitely for you.
*I’d like to thank EXO Books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.