Very good, and much more rounded and complete than the first book in the series.
In a few places the writing is exquisite, but there are still a few toVery good, and much more rounded and complete than the first book in the series.
In a few places the writing is exquisite, but there are still a few too many set-piece scenes derived from unjustifiable stupidity. They are much less common than in the first book, but they do mar this work.
The world us well built. The characters are better drawn than the first book, but still quite narrow. The story builds and develops well. The other complaints I have are that too much of the story is built upon failed communication, and the poorly constructed tension between the main character and his popup love interest: there is too little tension, and too much pantomime.
Bottom line: a good page turner, with enough depth to make it worthy of rereading some time. ...more
An entertaining saga with little genuine structure. Right near the end the narrator says "We have all the groundwork now. A foundation of story to buiAn entertaining saga with little genuine structure. Right near the end the narrator says "We have all the groundwork now. A foundation of story to build upon.” And he is right.
The characters are a little thin, but likeable enough, but the interactions annoyingly implausible at times in ways that are clearly designed to move the story onwards. The supposedly brilliant main character often takes several paragraphs or even pages to draw mind numbingly obvious conclusions, to the point of it sometimes feeling like a pantomime.
Which brings me to the story. The story moves at a fast enough pace, but tends to lurch from scene to scene with its own inevitability, and often much too predictably..
In conclusion, I can only agree with the original quote: “We have all the groundwork now. A foundation of story to build upon.”
It is of sufficient quality to warrant reading the sequel in the hopes that it builds meaningfully on the great groundwork in the first....more
Not anywhere near as good as first two, if it was the first I would never have continued.
This book has innumerable stupidities, and so many of the bacNot anywhere near as good as first two, if it was the first I would never have continued.
This book has innumerable stupidities, and so many of the back stories and setting descriptions read like the superfluous trash I expect from lesser writers. I could barely remember who Nami and Nono were, not that it really mattered.
Initial fear from early in the book: heroes becoming "the best" rather than "just these guys". Leaders becoming starfleet command. This pretty much happened, especially the starfleet command effect.
Half way through and it's a book filled with stupid people doing stupid things, and getting away with it for stupid reasons. Can't believe it's the same writer. One example from later in the book: (view spoiler)[Bull not giving grenades back to marines...and them not asking for them when they would be useful, wtf????? Then...2 grenades killed a guy wearing a suit that could survive a near miss from a nuke (based on comments in previous book). (hide spoiler)]
Another WTF: (view spoiler)[anyone can get in a force recon battle suit. No PIN, no DNA check, no biometrics, no security override required. And this on a suit owned by the most paranoid and militant faction. (hide spoiler)]
Most of the dreadful WTFs are there to get the characters to a specific scene. They are just plain silly.
As I said at the start: if it was the first I would never have continued. ...more
This was a truly annoyingly bad book. Annoying because it had some good, fun and interesting ideas, but completely failed to do any of them justice. 2This was a truly annoyingly bad book. Annoying because it had some good, fun and interesting ideas, but completely failed to do any of them justice. 2 stars because it at least had some good ideas.
It started pretty rough, settled down for the first half, then devolved into improbable events, suspense-less story telling and annoying non-action pretending to be action. If I had to explain the varying quality they just did a good job on the first half and had no idea how to finish the story well or introduce it.
In other news: it has little or no character development, bad guys who start off as brilliant schemers and end up behaving like Wile E. Coyote, and pivotal 'dark secrets' that would not have been secrets for as long as they were given the structure of the society.
3.5 stars, really. But I refuse to mark someone down due to a limited user-interface.
This is a book for people who like the old-school boys-own sci-fi3.5 stars, really. But I refuse to mark someone down due to a limited user-interface.
This is a book for people who like the old-school boys-own sci-fi adventure that places scientific realism above character development.
Firstly, yes, this book depends on a lot of improbable stuff, but what heroic adventure does not? As is the case in many good SF novels, that which is improbable is justified and explained.
Thankfully, this explanation does not generally bog the novel down. This is a book for those who like science and technology to be a large part of a book. Unlike many more recent SF novels, we are not bombarded with page after page of info-dump of irrelevance just to pad the pages. It is quite tightly written.
The main downsides of the book are:
* paper-thin characters (except, maybe, the hero, who is only cardboard thin)
* some minor plot holes that were annoying at the time ("wtf? why doesn't he do X"), but which can be forgiven because a tiny-tiny rewrite would fix them and so much of the rest of the book is well done. If you care for s couple of examples, see the spoiler section below.
(view spoiler)[ For those who care, the nit-picks I remember at the time of writing this review (there were more) are:
* when he loses sojourner, he could revert to communicating via pathfinder
* they used max burn in atmosphere with a tarp on the front. Why not only go for max burn only in space? I also suspect that this might be more fuel-efficient. If the latter is true, then there is no excuse (hide spoiler)]