DiscoverMystery & Crime

The Voyage


Not for me 😔

Flat Earth conspiracy that could have intrigued, but unfortunately falls "flat".

I really wanted to like The Journey by Douglas Falk. While I am not a conspiracy theorist, nor a "flat-earther," I do appreciate books that make me suspend belief and whisk me away on an adventure. I was hoping this book would truly be in the vein of a DaVinci Code but unfortunately, there are many aspects that limit the story.

The biggest issue I have is the telling rather than showing. Instead of bringing to life a story where I'm living the experience, I feel like I'm in a lecture. A majority of the reveal about the earth being flat rather than round is in conversation from one young man, William Milton, to his friend, John Wilander. Both are young Swedish students studying at University, in their early-mid twenties. Through conversations with not much action for at least half of the book, we hear from William why the earth might be flat. This becomes the premise for William's proposition to explore Antarctica, to prove there is an ice ring surrounding the earth.

After many conversations/lectures, William convinces John to join him on an expedition to the South Pole. Even when the men are journeying to the South Pole, William is still lecturing John about everything he has researched. Instead of having the men come across these "a-ha" moments and experience things along the way, it's always presented as William telling John about his theories or what he's read.

Another issue is the character development. The conversations do not flow naturally nor do the voices sound distinct or unique. John and William sound like two sides of the same coin in their cadence and inner dialogue. And I don't know much about them other than William is wealthy and believes the earth is flat and John is open to hearing his arguments.

When action does finally happen, about 2/3 of the way into the story, it doesn't seem plausible, even knowing I'm supposed to suspend belief. Because incidents occur and the reactions to what happens are shallow and without emotion. I'm fairly certain William is not meant to be seen as a sociopath. Yet his responses speak otherwise.

This book could have been exciting if the author took us on a true journey where we experience the arguments and theories for why the earth could be flat. Instead, we are given a lecture - one that sadly, falls flat.

Reviewed by

I review books (except horror) for Kelly Lacey's award-winning blog Love Books Group. I'm a former sociology professor, current mom, and a contracts specialist for a company specializing in chatbots for Higher Ed. I love reading and being swept away into another world through the power of words.


About the author

Douglas Falk was born in Stockholm, Sweden on May 15th 1992. The son of a journalist and an accountant, he was raised in the borough of Norrmalm. He eventually came to the realization that a career in teaching was not his calling, and dropped out after a year to pursue his dream profession–writing. view profile

Published on December 03, 2019

Published by Mascot Books

90000 words

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by