The Legend of Ellie Quin by Alex Scarrow (Episode 1)

I just recently finished reading The Legend of Ellie Quin by Alex Scarrow and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  This is only a fairly short novel but it had a lovely simplicity to the story telling that just made me fall into the story and frankly I confess it was difficult to put down once started. Okay, this is clearly, admittedly, only the beginning and we find out only a little snippet but it was really entertaining nonetheless.  Be warned though – this is not a self contained novel and whilst that may be annoying to some – the next book is available (so no interminable wait)!!  I thoroughly recommend dipping your toe into these waters.

The world created by Scarrow is wide sweeping.  Humans have spread throughout the universe.  We start with Ellie.  Living on some remote planet in the middle of nowhere.  Her family are farmers on a yet more remote still spot on this strip of universe in the middle of nowhere.  They live in Harper’s Reach.  The plants they cultivate provide oxygen – previously much needed on the planet but now the system is stabilising less lucrative to produce.  From the outset you can see that Ellie feels constrained by this existence.  She spends her time looking at the stars and dreaming of getting off planet (when she’s not dreaming of Sean that is – Sean is her maths tutor and the object of her dreams and infatuation).  Ellie has it all worked out, she’s saved a little money and she’s going all the way to the big city to make her fortune.  Now, I could easily have felt irritated with Ellie at this point.  Running away from home, especially a loving family environment where she’s well looked after seems a harsh way to treat the parents who have brought her up – but, Ellie is not altogether what she first seems.  I don’t know exactly what’s going on at this stage of the book but there’s been some genetic programming afoot and this wanderlust that Ellie experiences seems to be symptomatic of that experimentation.

The story is told from a few different point of views which I find I enjoy muchly.  We obviously get to hear from Ellie but we’re also given little snippets of information that are relayed to us in the form of ‘sort of’ wiki entries – which start to build up a picture of things within Ellie’s history – again, I like this way of providing information.  This gives you the obvious clue of course that things are not as at first suspected.

I liked Ellie.  She’s twenty but looks and behaves younger.  Of course, she’s lead a sheltered life and is hopelessly naive when it comes to the big city.  Plus she’s 20 so clearly she knows what she’s doing!!   She spends her time helping her father with the chores and I confess that she reminds me of a female Luke Skywalker in terms of being stuck at home and longing for adventure.   So, off she sneaks with her spotted knotted hanky carrying her few possessions and after a near death experience and a little mini adventure she finds herself in the city of New Haven where things very quickly spiral into your basic nightmare situation.

It’s difficult to say much more about the story.  This is a fairly short read after all.  Yes, there are obvious elements that could be compared to other reads, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Day of the Triffids spring immediately to mind for example.  But, none of this is done in a way that detracts from the book.  In fact, quite the opposite.  It almost feels like a little shout out to other great sci fi stories.  I literally loved this little snippet from Ellie’s story and I will definitely read the next instalments.  I warmly recommend this book.  I admit that I’m not massively read in terms of sci fi, something that I’m gradually working on – if you’re like me and tend to veer more to the fantasy side of books this could be a great intro into the world of SF.

This is my first review for Stainless Steel Droppings Sci-fi experience (btw who pressed the fast forward button on December??)  Thankfully, it’s not the only book I’ve read for this event – just the first I’ve reviewed.  Stop on over here and check out the details.  Carl is a great host and these events are always amazing!


9 Responses to “The Legend of Ellie Quin by Alex Scarrow (Episode 1)”

  1. Colin

    Oh hi Lynn

    Will you still talk to me when you become famous?

    • lynnsbooks

      Haha, if I ever find anything to become famous at – you’ll be the first to know.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Alex Scarrow

    Thankyou for such a lovely and in depth review! I do hope you enjoy episodes 2,3 as much. And FYI, episode 4 is going to be released in January.

    Best wishes

    Alex Scarrow

    • lynnsbooks

      It was a great read and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Carl V. Anderson

    Yes, a female Luke Skywalker is a great comparison of the Ellie we first meet. I’m so glad you enjoyed this and am thrilled for you that you have more to come. I’m almost finished with #3 now, but am holding off on the second half for a bit until the 4th episode comes out so I don’t have to be so disappointed in the waiting game when it ends. Of course then I’ll finish #4 and…

    • lynnsbooks

      I know what you mean… the waiting game isn’t easy! At least I’ve got 2 and 3 already out there to look forward to – but I’ll probably read them pretty fast and then it’s back to waiting again! I did really enjoy this one plus I think it’s a great book for somebody like me who is only just tentatively breaking into sci fi. (Basically it doesn’t make me feel too dumb!). Thanks for yet another great recommendation.
      Lynn 😀

  4. The World According to Ellie Quin by Alex Scarrow | Lynn's Book Blog

    […] The World According to Ellie Quinn is the second in a series that got off to an excellent start with The Legend of Ellie Quin.  Again, this is a very engaging read that picks up immediately where the last novel left off (and I would recommend reading these in order as they’re telling a story in linear fashion).  If you’ve not read these books then beware of spoilers below.  If you haven’t read them and want to do so then my review of No.1 is here! […]

  5. He’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy! | Lynn's Book Blog

    […] The Legend of Ellie Quin by Alex Scarrow – this is sci fi rather than fantasy – but Ellie Quin is the main protagonist and the stories are retelling her history – she’s legendary and seems to have changed the world – although I don’t know quite how yet because the series is ongoing! […]

  6. ‘But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!…’ |

    […] from The Legend of Ellie Quinn by Alex Scarrow – Ellie is a young girl, working on a dusty colonial farm, but she has ideas […]

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