Very unique fantasy universe while also being traditional in the best sense. Has the sense of wonder of Voyage of the Dawn Treader but with Enlightenm...moreVery unique fantasy universe while also being traditional in the best sense. Has the sense of wonder of Voyage of the Dawn Treader but with Enlightenment values.(less)
Um yea, pretty much the same book as the one previous. I think it could've been fun to write The Last Colony from Zöe's pe...more(Dropped about 1/3 through.)
Um yea, pretty much the same book as the one previous. I think it could've been fun to write The Last Colony from Zöe's perspective in the first place. It would've been interesting to see things from her POV, since obviously her life story is pretty interesting. But Scalzi already published the Last Colony. No backsies!
So this reads like a writing exercise that Scalzi inexplicably published.
Also the pacing is weird. The flight to the destination planet takes one week, but it is a big chunk of the book.
Personally I rather hate flashbacks. So your mileage may vary if you really enjoy flashbacks.(less)
**spoiler alert** So it turned out some of my major concern as I read the book and with the previous book turned out to (generously) be a bit of drama...more**spoiler alert** So it turned out some of my major concern as I read the book and with the previous book turned out to (generously) be a bit of dramatic irony. I really didn't like that the British considered it acceptable to play with world-ending powers for their own ends. The characters, even when agonizing over the blood prices they paid, hardly considered the ethics of this. Was the author trying to avoid too much foreshadowing by making the characters so stupid? The actions weren't unbelievable, but it's odd that there wasn't more discussion of this in Bitter Seeds and in this book during Will's self-justification for treason.
So regardless the end result was that all of characters are evil and you end up rooting for 'Ivan' to wipe Britain off the map for the good of the world. And given how the book ends, it really would be better for Russia to rule. This doesn't make for a pleasant reading experience overall.
Given this fact, it makes the British jingoism in almost all the characters, even one of the Nazis, really annoying. This is really seen in how Will pretends to have a conscious, but all he cares about is the blood prices being exacted on fellow British subjects. He never even mentions the other side of the price: that perhaps causing widespread starvation in Europe wasn't nice.
Now that we are deeper into the alternate history, I think Tergillis should've showed more care to summarize the geopolitics. I think it's quite believable that if the USSR had so resoundingly won the war that they would've wanted to continue into Britain (and certainly Iran), but I think some more time should've been put into this. And also why the logic of MAD doesn't seem to have entered into the equation.
And a pet peeve: Did Ian Tregillis think he was clever when mentioning that the US had four decades of depression? I get it: the US never enters WW2 so it never benefited from War Keynesianism. But it had plenty of the normal Keynesianism and it would've taken the combined sabotage efforts of the Fed and Congress to ensure that the US never recovered from the depression. In both this alternate history and in real history the US was able to build and develop while the rest of the world blew itself up. Europe being red is a painful change, but not crippling. This was just a throw away line in the book but it obviously annoyed me. :) (less)
This book reminded me of why I like Terry Pratchett.
The characters are fun and the concept behind this book is really cool. Most of the book is actual...moreThis book reminded me of why I like Terry Pratchett.
The characters are fun and the concept behind this book is really cool. Most of the book is actually a road trip through this interesting universe, a whole lot of exploration. Took me all of three days to read the book, I just couldn't put it down.