After enjoying book one so much I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with this. Overall the story is pretty solid, but the author seemed to runAfter enjoying book one so much I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with this. Overall the story is pretty solid, but the author seemed to run out of ideas on what to do with the battle scenes and the character development.
The author has developed a bad habit of repeating parts of the story when telling from a different pov. It becomes very repetitive hearing what each character thinks about the Commander, because the all think the same thing. There are scenes reported back to us from only a couple of chapters before. Almost like it is a TV episode and he wants to start with "previously on ........". That's ok to remind readers what happened in the previous book, but a couple of chapters ago?!
The battlescenes were generally a disappointment. Basically, they were a rinse and re-run, exactly the same tactics and same outcome. I could predict exactly what the Captain of the ship was going to do, stand by his chair, looking stoic and get within 10k km of the First Imprieum vessel before launching. Every freaking time. It got old and I missed the excitement of the first book.
All said, I am still going to read book three as I am still interested in how it pans out. This finished with enough of a teaser to make me commit. But I am hoping for a lot more material in book three....more
Sigh! What an utter disappointment. A Glen Cook book that I really couldn't be arsed to finish. It was just so boring and I cared nothing for the charaSigh! What an utter disappointment. A Glen Cook book that I really couldn't be arsed to finish. It was just so boring and I cared nothing for the characters or their story.
All in all, a fitting ending to a pretty crappy trilogy; that went to four books. The whole series started with a small flame, fizzled to a spluttering mess and died without raising any interest.
As much as I enjoy Cook's writing, I would go out of my way NOT to recommend this book, or the series.
Another good seat of the pants military scifi by Jay Allan. I really did enjoy this and some of the battle scenes were actually quite epic. At one staAnother good seat of the pants military scifi by Jay Allan. I really did enjoy this and some of the battle scenes were actually quite epic. At one stage, i literally did cheer out loud for the good guys.
So humanity is at war with a robot civilisation. Who are hell bent on destroying us. To stop the robots from finding Earth and humanities populated systems, the 'travel gate' is destroyed. Problem is, half the fleet were on the wrong side of the gate. What follows is a battle, chase, hide, battle, hide, chase scenario as the surviving fleet head away from Human space to try and draw off the robots. Said robots are half a million years ahead of us in tech but are basically shite at tactics and you can't beat good old human intuition and guts!
Great pace, pretty good characters, whilst a little obvious character development, still a rollicking good read for scifi space battle lovers. Going to jump straight into book two....more
So normally I do not write my reviews with details of the actual story, as most of my GR friends all ready know that the s5 Big fat Stars! I tell you!
So normally I do not write my reviews with details of the actual story, as most of my GR friends all ready know that the story is about. Rather, I focus on what my personal feelings are about the book. I am going to change that a bit for this one, as it is not yet a widely read book in my circles and I think that needs to change.
So here goes: There are three super powers: The Alliance, a warrior breed who escaped slavery 2 generations ago and have been doing nothing but building war ships and training everyone to become a cog in the great war machine. They are small compared the other two super powers but have global domination on their minds and as soon as they pick off a planet, they subjugate the population into slavery and make them work to build more military products. The Union, who make the Alliance sound nice. A conniving, back stabbing faction, the largest of the three, who have slavery as a norm and if you aren't in the ruling class, then you are dirt. These people would be the worst to join up with. And good old USA. The Confederate. Who are in the middle of the two hell bent on domination. The confederate whilst large have a democracy and A MARINE CORP. They have been fighting with those Unionists for a long time.
So now you know who is who in the Zoo. Everyone see the Confederates as weak as they are a democracy and the people do not live in fear.
Premise of the story is that the Union want the Alliance to sneak attack the Confeds. The Alliance doesn't want to risk the Union beating the Confed and taking all their planets as they would become a Super Super Power and would take on the Alliance next.
So that is the first Chapter. The rest of the story is one of the best space battles between two ships that I have ever read. Seat of the pants stuff. There was certainly stages where I just could not put the book down. Massively exciting, fast paced and brilliantly written.
The characters in the book are well written and believable. Whilst this is a military scifi, it is not hard SciFi, it isn't all about war and just shooting the shit out of each other. It is two freaking huge space destroyers, kilometers in length, playing cat and mouse with each other in a thoroughly enjoyable tense battle. They take damage, they have to limp around and put blue tack in holes. None of this "100% power to forward shields Captain" or "Scotty, I need maximum warp in 8 seconds". It's more like "Captain, I can give you a laser at 20% and 8% thrust, oh and a lot of our crew are venting through the holes we are having blown in the ship"
2 Stars for a Glen Cook book? Yes, you better believe it.
If you read my review for the Starfishers (Book 2) you will know that I became increasingly2 Stars for a Glen Cook book? Yes, you better believe it.
If you read my review for the Starfishers (Book 2) you will know that I became increasingly frustrated with the story. I had high hopes that many of the questions raised in that book would be answered in the last of the trilogy. Unfortunately they were not which leaves some very big holes in the plot that fundamentally ruin the book for me. I am very much a character driven reader and I have to say, the characters in the last two books are shite! There is no better word for it. They appear flat and their interaction with each other appears juvenile times. Development of key characters was left untouched which appears to be lazy writing. My thoughts are were: that whilst writing book 1, Cook had grandiose ideas about the Starfishers World and how the series pans out. But after looking at the publication dates, it appears that 2 and 3 were published a year before 1. Which does in fact make sense when you read the story. One of the main characters is completely different in book 1 and even the style if different,
There is nothing positive for me in this book. Hugely disappointed. ...more
Buddy read with my Chum Sarah who's choice it was to read this book. It was our first time reading any Tchaikovsky and was pleasantly surprised at hisBuddy read with my Chum Sarah who's choice it was to read this book. It was our first time reading any Tchaikovsky and was pleasantly surprised at his writing skills. He weaves a great world building/ character development skill that has you immersed in the story and feeling a lot of the tension and horror of battle.
After reading the first chapter I was looking forward to settling down with the book. But that chapter was a teaser. Chapter two takes you back a year and leads you toward our hero Emily going off to war. From chapter two through six, I was thinking that I had picked a dud. It was a throw back to Jane Austin style (not that I have read any of hers), lots of well to do women, complaining about the lack of fun with men at war, what to wear at the ball and general gossiping. By Chapter ten, I was hooked. At this stage, not on the story, but on the Emily character and her nemesis Mr Northway. Absolutely lovely character interaction.
By the time Emily goes off to war I was looking forward to reading this every day. I am not going to say much about the war part, except that it shows how horrible war is, how much it changes a person, regardless of their position and will tell you that you will completely love the world building in the swamps.
The end worked for me. It has been ages, I think, since I have read a stand alone, it was nice for a change to have the whole story in one book.
So yes I recommend this story. Very well written with three or four good solidly written characters....more
I am really not sure if I want to carry on with this series. Definitely split 50/50 on it. A pretty solid three stars, mainly because of the world buiI am really not sure if I want to carry on with this series. Definitely split 50/50 on it. A pretty solid three stars, mainly because of the world building. To be honest, I really didn't gel with the characters and at times the writing style annoyed bored me. I felt it was a little too long and that there really wasn't enough plot growth for such a large book. At 25% shorter, the pacing would have felt better. The premise behind the story, trying to bring down the ruling 12 kings is good and the way it can be done works well and the author does spend a fair bit of time developing the main characters personalities, but I have to say that I just felt like I was ambling along with it. Everything kind of went along and we finally came to the end, which certainly picked up the action, but it was a LONG road to get there. I will probably wait until I read some other friends reviews on whether the second book is much better than the first, otherwise this will most likely a series that gets put on the indefinite to read at some time in my life list....more
2.5 Stars! So as far as light reads goes, this hits the spot. For being a fun read, it comes and goes. Potentially this could be a very good story, but2.5 Stars! So as far as light reads goes, this hits the spot. For being a fun read, it comes and goes. Potentially this could be a very good story, but for me, at times it just got a little silly. Some of the character dialogue gave me eye strain as I tried to unroll my eyes. It took your traditional chivalrous knight talk, added a pinch of Monty Python and then hammed it up to ridiculous. The writing is actually pretty good, there is no doubt that the author can spin a tale or two. I can imagine a lot of people liking it as a fun read, Knights of the Round table is always a popular subject and following Gawain instead of Arthur made for a nice change. There is a big junk of Fae in the story and this was only the intro, so I can imagine that side of the story growing. I put this style of writing in the Terry Pratchett type, of which I have never enjoyed and never finished one of his books. So maybe if you love that big floating turtle and like a quick light read, you might find this fun. Again as I said, a good solid writing skill, but not told in the way that makes me get into book two....more
So just like 2015 my average score was 3.6 I looked at the GR average for the books I have read and it shows 4.1, so I am half a star more critical :)So just like 2015 my average score was 3.6 I looked at the GR average for the books I have read and it shows 4.1, so I am half a star more critical :)
Down to 42 books last year, (PS4 arrival?) which again is what I aim for this year. I do suspect that my rating could drop down to 3 this year as I plan to do a bit of 'trying all sorts of other books'. This being instead of my Scifi/fantasy only....more
Hmmmm. So, where to start. Well the three stars should be an indication that this review going to have some highs and lows.
So book four answered, er,Hmmmm. So, where to start. Well the three stars should be an indication that this review going to have some highs and lows.
So book four answered, er, one (partially) of the at least six fundamental plot development questions I had. Which I have to say, annoys me. I went from, in book three, amazed out all the things I wanted to learn in the last book, to, does Moore actually have an answer, or is he playing the 'their gods, they can do what they like' card. Because a lot of the storyline growth ( I assume there are more to come, given the way it ended) depends on at least giving the reader some kind of clue as to what is going on in the background and not continually saying ' the gods have told me to do it, therefore, I shall do it, regardless). I NEED more info. 4 books and we still haven't got a SINGLE clue who the Tallor gods are, what they want, apart from ripping the Fellisin Empire apart, where there power comes from, (we glimpse that, perhaps, but were told it was drained, but then they are still popping up volcanoes as party tricks, so not sure what the drained part means.).
Then there is the ending. NOT HAPPY JAN! I had visions of big revelations and endings and was left with a tussle in the dirt and some trickery from a giggling idiot. There was a lot more potential in that ending and it just fizzled out for me. The whole mother vine part? I have no idea what happened there, it just did.
So overall, I am a little sad that it finished this way and the fact that there seems to be no story behind the most important characters. I am still going with three stars as overall I did enjoy the story.
Not sure if I will be reading book five when ever it comes out. ...more
It has been a long time since I spent so much time second guessing what was coming next and who was doing what to who as I did with this book. Three bIt has been a long time since I spent so much time second guessing what was coming next and who was doing what to who as I did with this book. Three books in and there are still many many questions that have me on my toes waiting to start book 4.
A fun read with BB&B shortlist buddies for a boxing day start. Thanks Choko for putting up with my endless chatter and hypotheses.
City of Wonders pretty much picks up straight after The Blasted Lands. We learn a little more about the mounds, but still not enough to say how it will influence book 4, but you just know it is a major part in the story to be revealed. We see a little bit more magic from the home team and we see a lot, and I mean pages of it, of how deadly and destructive the Sa'ba are. Mostly this book puts you in a mind that there is no winning this war. How do you fight 50,000 fighters who can defeat armies with 100 to 1 odds? Who have mounts that make horses loosen their bowels and can pop up volcanoes in locations at will.
There are some dark parts in this book, when the enemy has no empathy and murder everyone, including the children, then there is very little hope and without hope it becomes bleak. But there is always a glimmer that a answer can be found. You have a gutsy young queen, a hard man general willing to do what's necessary and of course the Wizard and his hot Sisters.
Definitely a solid third book, one that I would imagine not many would say that they won't be carrying on. Sets up a very nice ending, I hope.
A solid 4.5 Stars! A very intriguing book that is very different to most styles I have read. Brilliant world building in the China Miéville strain (wiA solid 4.5 Stars! A very intriguing book that is very different to most styles I have read. Brilliant world building in the China Miéville strain (without the overdoing it bit) and wonderful character development in our main hero Senlin. The Tower is advertised as the greatest place in earth to visit and the reality is, it isn’t. It is a place that epitomizes the greed and nastiness of the world today. A true pyramid scheme, where everyone below you is lessor and your entire goal is to get to the next level. A place where, given your base desires you will force yourself into poverty and enslavement. It’s grim. But it is artfully done in layer upon layer, so you do not realize how deep you are in, until the only option is to keep going to try and improve, with full knowledge that the likelihood is disaster. Like any addiction really. The character work deserves a special mention. Great character development and character traits that surprise are a big plus for me. Senlins’ character was superbly written. Classed as a stuffy Victorian Headmaster from a little town in nowhere, full of pomposity and correctness, he should have been a very static character portrayal. In fact, we are taken on a journey where, he morals, he beliefs and everything about him is learned, not only by the reader but Senlin himself. A great story of a man, forced to make changes to the way he lives and treats others, to survive, but yet maintain a basic level of human dignity above all else. Something that all of us should be mindful of in these current times.
So why not 5 stars? There is a section in the book, where a fair bit of detail is given, that did bog it down slightly. In my buddy read of this, it did cause a few people to go from ‘omg! BESTEST EVA!!’ to “hmmm, this has slowed down”. This part of the book is needed because it plays a part throughout the story and I think for future books. I also want the chance to rate the next book even higher than this one, so left myself half a star.
So overall a fantastic read. I do advise reading in a group as there are many, many subjective discussions based on the writing. Some people talk about its reference to religion or politics. I think that a lot of the character names are based on historical influences and book and film characters from the authors favourite list. But then again, I could be completely wrong.