One of my favorite novels this year. A deeply claustrophobic, oppressive, immersive reading experience that grabs you by the scruff and doesn't let yo...moreOne of my favorite novels this year. A deeply claustrophobic, oppressive, immersive reading experience that grabs you by the scruff and doesn't let you go until you've made it, breathless, to the end. The author describes this book as "social fiction" and "a -topia between u- and dis-" and I think that's a great way to put it. Even though there were colony ships involved in these people's pasts, it's not really sci-fi; there's no high tech or aliens or space travel or any of that. It's more like Cuba meets the Netherlands, actually. Whatever you call it, it's FASCINATING. And enthralling. And also 25% off at Riptide, so seriously, u guise, I can't recommend this one highly enough. Grab it while it's cheap and discover a new author you'll want to stalk for the rest of your life :D(less)
There are not words for how much I love this book. Full disclosure: I was a beta, and it's also set in my sandbox (this story is written in the same w...moreThere are not words for how much I love this book. Full disclosure: I was a beta, and it's also set in my sandbox (this story is written in the same world as Anchored and Where He Belongs). That said, Aleks wrote such a beautiful novel I'm downright jealous of how well he handled my sandbox; he built a much prettier castle than I ever did ;-p
This is classic Voinov at his finest: dark, gritty, morally ambiguous, dangerous, violent, and sexy as hell. All that plus a genuine romance! If you are a fan of any of these things, I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. Also, it's sooooooooooooooper cheap on pre-sale at SMP, so go--pick it up, and get to read it two days before everyone else. (Well, almost everyone else ;-p) And when you're done, you'll want to read it again, and again, and again. Pure love.(less)
Disclaimer: I only read 75% of the story. Put it down and never picked it up again. It's not that I don't like the subject matter--in fact, the only r...moreDisclaimer: I only read 75% of the story. Put it down and never picked it up again. It's not that I don't like the subject matter--in fact, the only reason I got through 75% of it was because this sort of stuff pushes all my buttons and so few people write material of this nature. What I didn't like was the way it was handled.
The story is full of grossly implausible situations and behaviors, even within the context of the world it created. Everything was explained and narrated to within an inch of its life (and sometimes well beyond). I liked the way in which the society spiraled so out of control--I thought that was an excellent mirror to hold up to just about any abuse of power, though it read more like a soapbox than a novel--but the author didn't even bother attempting to weave that information in naturally; instead there was just a giant expository info dump at the beginning of the book. Which pretty much sets the tone for the whole thing: one giant expository info dump after another, and worse, they meander all over the place. The story goes off into tangent after tangent. Even the places where the material is actually relevant to plot and character lack focus and wander all over the page.
It's sad because this author is certainly capable of crafting a sentence, and the idea of the world he's created is a fascinating one. Alas, everything was handled with a bludgeon rather than a scalpel, and with a degree of either laziness or utter lack of editorial direction (or both) that made the book suffer deeply--frankly, to and past the point of failure.
I know a lot of people raved about this book, but I can't help but think they were raving about the idea of it rather than the execution of it, which fell so flat I felt nothing pretty much the entire way through--even at the parts where clearly I was supposed to be moved and horrified and full of pity. (Of course, YMMV.) I wish this author had had a strong enough editor and the three or four months of reworking and rewriting it would have taken to kick the book into shape. I do suspect the talent's there, and certainly the creativity. But none of it was realized in this story.(less)