500 pages of Joss Whedon teenspeak was too much for me. I can’t begin to describe how juvenile this book is, from the very first chapter a total lack 500 pages of Joss Whedon teenspeak was too much for me. I can’t begin to describe how juvenile this book is, from the very first chapter a total lack of emotional depth is on display via a ‘very bad character’ that everyone hates who only serves to showcase all the negative personality traits the rest of the books main characters so carefully do not share. Sadly the entirety of this book's cast are transparent cyphers for the cast of Firefly by way of Farscape and Doctor Who.
Even the captain’s lizard alien girlfriend is simply Madam Vastra from Doctor Who, and some characters even talk about which extinct reptilian Earth race she resembles... The Dinosaurs! It’s totally shameless and no attempt to hide it is made.
Within 20-30 pages it becomes clear that everyone speaks in an effected teen-speak style which would not be out of place in a daytime Disney children's drama. For the under tens.
This Disney plastic facade lends itself to the so-called Aliens who all come off as anodyne rubber masked vehicles for whichever social issue the authors had decided to spoon-feed us via each one. And spoon-fed we are, make no mistake.
I am genuinely frustrated/angry that the marketing of the UK version of this book may give the impression that this book is for adults with a grown-up non SciFi looking cover, as some poor unsuspecting soul may then pick it up thinking “oh SciFi, that’s usually for kids but this looks sort of grown up”, except it isn't. This book will then reinforce an impression of SciFi being childish and simply for emotionally immature and stunted kidults.
This book doesn’t resemble Hyperion, or Dune or Ancillary Justice or any of the more grownup mature Science Fiction novels you may have heard of in any way; they are for adults. This book sadly is only for pre-teens who want to read fan-fiction versions of their favourite TV characters perform a 500 page grouphug. If you feel the need for Captain Mal get it on with Madam Vastra, this is the fan-fic for you.
I feel embarrassed I read this 'book'. Reading it reminded me how I felt trying to watch the first Divergent film. It's cast of picture-perfect-teen-automota would swaggering towards the camera in a way designed to excite the eight year olds and they make even the most basic human emotion seem plastic, telegraphed in high-resolution and cringeworthy. You want to hide behind your hands but you can't, you're holding a book and are trapped. In the same way that films like that are populated by moviestars rather than actors; this book is filled with witty-pun-machine-archetypes rather than characters.
Kizzy, Jinks, Ashby and Dr Chef? They're not character names, come on.
Becky Chambers may possibly be able to write well, perhaps. This books stylistic Indulgence's are so overpowering it's impossible to say one way or the other but I want to give her the benefit of the doubt and add a star onto what should really be a one star review but I can't. I'd hate myself for encouraging anyone to read this.
If you need to, like, read a totally awesome daytime teen drama in space for, like, ten year olds, this is utterly utterly utterly the most awesome book for you. Ever!! Oh wow!!!!!!! Grouphug.
Demented numbty language nonsense with high tech word soup passing as "hard SF" for people who confuse made-up words with story or character or anythiDemented numbty language nonsense with high tech word soup passing as "hard SF" for people who confuse made-up words with story or character or anything resembling coherence. Just remember, if it looks like utter nonsense, sounds like utter nonsense and reads like utter nonsense; it is in fact UTTER NONSENSE.
Despite having parts of my brain lexographically lobotomised by the first volume in this nonsense "series" I thought I'd give part two a go. Mind you having learned my lesson with part one I made sure to read it over a few weeks while standing in book shops so as not to blacken my credit-rating having any connection to this buffoonery.
It's as mind jarringly stupid as the first "volume" and reading this feels a little like you would imagine rock cake sprinkled with a twinkley LSD/ketamin mix being violently jammed down the throat of David Bowie's starman with a riding crop by an illiterate mid-70's east German conceptual performance artist painted gold, wearing cowboy boots & who's sporting a massively drug addled erection. Grinning wildly.
Science Fiction has taken a massive step backwards with the publication of these books and I urge anyone with any desire to see their name in print to post any rubbish they like to their nearest SF publisher. If it's sprinkled with enough LSD/ketamin/made-up-words it seems they will publish it.
Dear God, don't read it. Please.
PS) I'm sure Hannu Rajaniemi is a nice guy but will anyone reading this who knows Hannu and any friendly illiterate east German conceptual artists, please introduce them?...more
[Admittedly I had the flu the week I read this, which may have flavoured my view of this book negatively.]
I am sincerely disappointed with this book,[Admittedly I had the flu the week I read this, which may have flavoured my view of this book negatively.]
I am sincerely disappointed with this book, although I am 30 pages before the end I am not holding out any hope that these last few pages will somehow offset what has been an uphill struggle for scant reward.
The initial setting is intriguing and it's written in a good homage to the boiled detective gumshoe novels of the 40's and 50's which were almost always dismissed as being not quite "literature". In my view Finch sadly fails as these tropes act as a container for a story that suffers from way to much discursive language and as a result smacks of a 'clever' self referential hodgepodge of elements. Perhaps the author was trying to make some point about the fantasy genera being able to do these types of books, if you really really really try.
There was one moment the book raised itself above a tasteless mushroom/fungi language stew. At about the 2/3 mark the protagonist, whom despite myself I have a soft spot for, is given a wonderful info dump of back history and cool sounding events as some sort of justification for what is happening to him. Fair enough you might think and it did raise my spirits until I realise these were the highlights of other Ambergris books and is the equivalent of someone trying to justify the Star Wars prequels by pointing to the Empire Strikes Back and telling you that watching Episode 1 is worthwhile. It isn't. I was momentarily distracted by shiny shiny but this all quickly faded back to grey. Or mushroom brown if you will.
Sadly garbled, convoluted but beautifully horrific writing makes for an uneven and ultimately dissatisfying mushroom broth of a book.
After years of waiting this book was the first major letdown of Earthdawn.
The Theran Empire were the BigBad of Earthdawn, with seemingly unassailableAfter years of waiting this book was the first major letdown of Earthdawn.
The Theran Empire were the BigBad of Earthdawn, with seemingly unassailable power and magical sophistication. That much we could be certain of in coming to this and I suppose that was what we got.
But what people wanted was a glimpse of the world outside the narrow confines of Barsaive... and what we got were simple analogues of countries we could see on our own map of the world with simple mis-spelled names. For instance Marac, ahem, not Morrocco, is ruled by Sultans. Really? Seriously? After five years of waiting that was all we got?
While the production values were as good as we had come to expect the ideas were poorly thought out and, and dare I say it, plain lazy.
Robin D Laws let himself and us down with this....more
Someone at the book club said that this books is 'exquisite' and they meant it as a joke. I think what they mean it's as exquisite as a music box. YouSomeone at the book club said that this books is 'exquisite' and they meant it as a joke. I think what they mean it's as exquisite as a music box. You know the type, it's beautiful and attractive but after you have finished ohhhing and ahhhhing it's still just a prety box. t That's exactly what this book feels like. It's very prety, the descriptions are truly extraordinary but the book itself is empty....more