**spoiler alert** Ian again focuses tighly on Trevor Grey who tends to think up some weird hair-brained idea that usually works, while the titular Sta**spoiler alert** Ian again focuses tighly on Trevor Grey who tends to think up some weird hair-brained idea that usually works, while the titular Star Carrier, "America", Admiral'ed by Koenig, risks all on the slim chance that forty human warships will be able to stand against a foe that can manufacture stars, move planets at faster-than-light speeds, and travel through time.
As expected, the Sh'daar are basically artificial intelligence (downloaded personality constructs from once-biological entities, alien species that made up the Sh'daar Union.) Out of concern for the "Grandfather Paradox" (you grow up hating your grandfather, you create a time machine, you go back in time, you kill your grandfather, you're never born... so how did you grow up hating your grandfather?), the Sh'daar capitulate and instead seek to share leadership of the new Sh'daar Union with Humanity. After fourty years of war, it all seems tenuous and improbable. It would seem more likely that the Sh'daar wanted to simply get humans out of Sh'daar space, to avoid an unlucky accident, then they could go back to wiping out humanity-- business as usual.
The epilogue has Trevor convert from his anachronistic primitive and monogamous ways to the more modern polyamorous lifestyle of the "modern (hu)man."
OK. Sure. Right.
On the plus side, there were fewer continuity errors. The story significantly reduced the quantity of 20th century jargon and explanations of said jargon. There were a few scientific principals presented that have been postulated by modern (20th century) scientists... but there were also ideas presented which were determined to be impossible (as we understand the laws of nature) due to a loophole that humanity just can't understand ... like time travel ... or being able to manufacture stars ... or create meson beams the caused matter to compress to neutronium. Basically, I felt like Ian's story was stronger for taking the science fast-and-loose, rather than trying to behave in a consistant fashion. Perhaps he would do well writing some kind of high fantasy. With his current body of work, it would probably be best if it was military high fantasy. Is that even a genre?...more
Granted, I read the book quickly, but I put it down several times to do other things. It's hard to give a novel a 5 star rating when I feel like puttiGranted, I read the book quickly, but I put it down several times to do other things. It's hard to give a novel a 5 star rating when I feel like putting the book down (rather than being forced to put it down due to some interruption.)
Clary Fray is your typical female protagonist who needs to be regularly saved. One wonders why this trope is still used today in a post-modern, pro-feminine (post-feminist) culture? Why does the female protagonist need to be saved? Why can't she save herself? Does saving oneself detract in some way from being feminine? When Clary (Clarissa) is able to save herself, it's not due quick thinking or skill, it's because her nature (view spoiler)[(as the child of two Shadowhunters) (hide spoiler)]. I find "because the spirit moved me to do it" explanations for success to be annoyingly similar to deus ex machina.
I found one of the story mechanics (view spoiler)[(the one that causes Clary to forget things supernatural, and showing the reader how Clary forgets something she just saw) (hide spoiler)] interesting.
I did not find any plot holes, which was an extreme pleasure. The book was well edited for spelling and grammar. Most of the humor was punny, which deserved a smirk, but I did not laugh except when people said things in seriousness that were just outright silly. Like "They say the meek shall inherit the earth, but at the moment it belongs to the conceited. Like Me." made me laugh.
Unfortunately, the plot felt a little flaccid for me. It was well tied together, there wasn't wasted space (or if there was, it wasn't much)... just for me, the plot felt uninteresting. And the final reveal (view spoiler)[(the reveal that Clary and Jace are brother/sister, a la Star Wars Luke & Leia) (hide spoiler)] was almost cliche (to me).
I neither loved nor hated the book. After I read some other stories, I might even pick up the next in the series....more
**spoiler alert** Finally the Mainland-Siddarmark war begins. It's not an invasion like we might have hoped, but instead a desperate rear-guard action**spoiler alert** Finally the Mainland-Siddarmark war begins. It's not an invasion like we might have hoped, but instead a desperate rear-guard action to protect the innocent people of Siddarmark from the Army of God.
The constant meeting notes were less in evident, but there were several chapters that could have been culled from the book by simply summerizing the meetings. There's not much conflict there, and they're (to me) boring ways to provide exposition.
Not sure how I feel about Nahrman being converted into an AI. Definitely don't believe that everyone who finds out is going to be totally OK with it. There are always going to be people who will re-think their allegiance after they started (even if they made the right decision in the first place).
I am also baffled why, after (how many books now?) 6 books, Merlin (or anyone else) hasn't ever once considered putting SNARCS between the semaphore stations to intercept every communication that left Zion. I just accept it and move on only because the Temple Lands has stopped sending complete orders into the field (out of distrust that some among their army are heretics and traitors). So even if they did put SNARCS in a place to capture every Semaphore message, those messages don't contain everything that happens within the Temple itself.
But, moving 40,000 troops East instead of West at the "drop of a hat" is mind-bogglingly difficult to digest. While yes, if the Imperial army had simply not put troops anywhere near that front because they didn't expect an attack, yes that would be a problem when the forces did start moving East... the army moving East would have had to recall all of its advanced scouts... And if they didn't, if instead they were ordered simply to ready themselves for moving West, but not to actually begin the movement... then simply by intercepting those orders it would be a lot clearer to Merlin and the rest of the Good Guys that the Temple Lands were about to pull a switcheroo.
So to think that the Empire was caught flat footed because they didn't recognize the signs, and that the Army of God's forces (or Desnair, or whoever) were able to turn around go in the exact opposite direction without some confusion and disarray... well... I just don't buy it.
I think this is a case of the author becoming too clever for his own good.
I still really love the idea behind the series, but I feel like Weber is starting to let me down. That makes me a sad panda....more
Divergent from the established body of work, delving into something that might be supernatural. Dexter in the Dark also presents a point-of-view otherDivergent from the established body of work, delving into something that might be supernatural. Dexter in the Dark also presents a point-of-view other than Dexter's. Jeff Lindsay manages to pull off this break in writing pattern, but it feels decidedly like a different type of book.
The subplot with Cody and Astor feels a bit far-fetched, and I can understand why Showtime doesn't head that direction with their story. Darkly demented.
Nick Landrum continues to nail the voice of Dexter Morgan with his dry monologue and whit. It's unfortunate that he's been removed from the last two books in the series....more