The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi

Challenge 2 ~ “A book set in a different continent.”


★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

It was simply browsing through a selection of books that I came across The Doubt Factory, and the blurb drew me in from the outset. At the same time, I became hesitant as I browsed the reviews of goodreads, which seemed predominantly negative. I’ve never read any of Bacigalupi’s other works, but apparently this doesn’t quite live up to normal standards. If that’s the case, I’m more than eager to seek out his other books.

The Doubt Factory was captivating from the very first page. None of the characters were very familiar, but there was action and suspense a plenty to entice the reader deeper into the story. As Part 1 unravelled, Bacigalupi maintained the momentum, introducing twists into the plotline that just enticed the reader further. Several of the background characters remained a little uncertain, however this failed to detract from the story.

Transitioning into Part 2 of the novel, Bacigalupi seemed to lose track of the momentum and the storyline, and for several chapters it felt as if the plotline had run its course in the first part, and now the author was merely writing for the sake of writing. Persevering through, however, the story began to pick up again approximately two thirds of the way through, and from there it was a straight race to the finish. Bacigalupi’s literary prowess shone through once more, with a great balance of action and description, complemented by a good stock of plot twists (and not just for the sake of plot twists, either!)

As the novel drew to a close, I found the pages disappearing beneath my fingers. What began as ‘this is the last chapter for today’ would culminate in a 50 page advance, and then Bacigalupi would finish with such a prominent line that it was difficult to stop at all. The very end was suitable and well-written, although a few of the character’s decisions were not those I would have thought to be realistic in the situation.

Bacigalupi brings together an enticing plot with a fantastic writing to create The Doubt Factory – a darker Solitaire, with a more solid grounding in the real world. Despite the negativity I have heard around the novel, I was considerably engaged and impressed, and if it really is a step-down for Bacigalupi, I cannot wait to read the rest of his works!

Recommended for fans of:

  • Solitaire by Alice Osman
  • Silverfin by Charlie Higson
  • Shelter by Harlan Coben


N.B.: This ebook was received from Netgallery in return for a reflective and honest review.



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