Find out The Space Girls’ first impressions of SPSFC3 contestant, Explorers of Rinth by John Simons.

As part of the Self-Published Sci-Fi Competition, my team (The Space Girls) has been given 25 books to read. Of this initial allocation (or ‘slush pile’), we are reading the first 30% and then voting Yes or No on whether we’d like to continue reading further. You can see our full allocation in my previous blog.

Here are the team’s first impressions of Explorers of Rinth by John Simons. (You can find all of our first impressions posts here.)

The cover of Explorers of RinthBook blurb

Aristotle wakes with no memory after being left for dead in a place that carries the seeds of a distant and dying Earth, but he is not alone. The survival of the human species rests on his shoulders and a small group of discarded humans. Meanwhile, Iseulte and her friends flee the spark of civil war that engulfs their home. They escape into long-forgotten tunnels where they find that things Humanity dabbled in and abandoned have taken on their own lives and destinies. Although separated by unimaginable distance, the future of these two groups was bound together in the distant past by the strangest secret of all.

Goodreads / Amazon

Our first impressions

Nancy: Whoa, this book took a huge turn! We have three POVs: An amnesiac man named Aristotle, an arrogant female doctor named Indira who also has partial amnesia, and a rowdy 15 year old girl named Iseulte (who seems to be the character in the cover). All three POVs know they are in an asteroid space station but only know partial truths. None of them have bumped into each other in the 30% of the novel.

The writing quality of the amnesiac adult POV chapters differs a lot from the teenager POVs. I loved the adult chapters and felt quite vested in them, whereas the teen ones were quite boring. One minute, the girls are having typical high school drama and fawning over boys; the next scene, they witness death for the first time like it was no big deal. That kind of felt jarring. I would have trimmed these early Iseulte POV chapters because they are so long and the filler isn’t critical for the great book mystery.

Otherwise, I am fascinated with this book. The asteroid is so weird. This is the first time I read a book that gives me fond memories of the weirdness of the Babel Tower in Josiah Bancroft’s Senlin Ascends series. If you liked the scenes in The Parlor where weird stuff goes on beneath the fake theatrics veneer, Explorers of Rinth will be up your alley. (Y)

Kerry: Totally engrossed in this so I ended up pausing at around 50% mark. 

Two factions of humans living on an Asteroid with a small number of teenagers discovering the truth of their parents’ previous lives which in turn impacts them. Hiding from one group they are shocked to find that their living environment is only a fraction of the asteroid. Using newly discovered secret passages they meet other races and environments because at one stage the asteroid was a cover for a large corporation to conduct genetic testing, some with horrific or extraordinary results. 

There is also another small group of humans who have been “decanted”  by an out of control robot. This book is definitely a yes. (Y)

Katherine: I voted yes to continue at the 30% mark (my personal vote, not necessarily team vote) and carried on to read the full book. See my full review at The Fussy Space Girl – Explorers of Rinth, John L. Simons Jr ( (Y)

Status: Quarterfinalist