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In a lot of ways, this is a very good book, well worth the four and (maybe) even the five star reviews that others are giving it. For me, though, the "twist" at the end (I'm going to try and avoid going to avoid going into details, but it's tricky) doesn't work. The protagonist has a choice to make at the end of the novel, and I really can't understand why she chooses the way she does. Clearly from the other reviews I'm in a minority, but for me, it really put a dampener on my enjoyment of the whole book. Having said that, for the ending to annoy me so much, the rest of the book must have been doing something right!
Spannend genug um es an einem verregneten Wochenende durchzulesen und dem Geld nicht hinterherzuweinen. Gut genug das ich für ein ähnliches Wochenende Band 2 lesen würde. Nicht gut genug das ich Band 2 entgegenfiebere.
Die Charaktere sind relativ flach und einige sind "Political Correctness" Elemente. Dazu ist "das Glück den Charakteren zu hold" um sie wirklich glaubwürdig zu machen. Aber insgesammt sind sie interessant genug um sie "anzufeuern" und das Grundkonzept der "Bösen" sorgt für ein paar interessante Wendungen im Roman.
When I'm trying to decide whether to buy/read a book, one of the first things I wonder is who the intended or effective audience is. I prefer adult sci-fi, and I don't mean pornographic. I mean a book that isn't chock full of silly sophomoric memes. This one has too many to be anything but sophomoric. Writing is ok. Plot is extremely implausible. Heroine goes from crisis to crisis almost like a character in a video game. Anything she/her ship needs is available. One tell-tale giveaway of juvenile sci-fi/fantasy (imho) is a mentor. some wise wizard or ancient person. Naturally, there's one here. The plot is Terra has been benevolently ignored but its new (or soon to be deployed) technology has changed its value to the civilization that's been shielding it (LOR Rangers come to mind, except here the Kingdom/Empire's still intact). The solar system is invaded by an advanced technological Empire. Heroine and her (advanced, one of a kind) ship escapes (!!) and becomes a privateer (why? IDK, makes no sense to me. Apparently in an Empire spanning hundreds of star systems with many pirate ships (I mean, really??) already preying on commerce, her privateer is going to make a difference. sure. Naturally, her wise government (philanthropic billionaires, too, apparently) have secretly created supply bases on various surrounding star systems. sure. (like "power-ups", in keeping with the video game flavor of the plot). Her first attack is successful and the first WTF?? plot element occurs: she personally goes onto the crippled spaceship while they're still fighting (floor to floor, corridor by corridor). The book would have been a lot shorter (this happens at about the 20% point) if the crew had either rigged IEDs, or just detonated their power core (intentionally or via a stray shot). Any person stupid enough not to know - without ANY doubt - that risking their (leader's) death for nothing, risks their objective (however silly/juvenile it is), is profoundly negligent and is too incompetent to lead a pair of hamsters, let alone a crew, the last survivors of the world's armed forces. Other annoying memes. Mostly everyone is gay. I guess there's some requirement now days that at least 50% of all romances are to be homo, but I still find it annoying. The bad thing is that the author explains the pairing up as natural and helpful for unit cohesion. Well, channeling human bio-drives in a hierarchical military structure is very difficult, very fraught, yes. Helpful for unit cohesion? LOL. Why sure. Just look at all the militaries which encourage hook-ups. The plot jumps from fight to fight, but its action is of the action movie type, where everything depends on the single "unit", and combat is resolved, cleanly over a couple of minutes. She ends up with an eye patch (shades of Harrington! (but at least no cats, lol)) because of another profoundly incompetent decision on her part. (What? search prisoners? Why would we do that???, especially prisoners who we expect to try something! ) Without her multiply miraculous amount of luck the Captain shows almost no signs of any command competencies. Here's a hint: when you're the last survivor fleeing an alien invasion, the first thing you do is get as much information as you can, the first thing you DON'T do is attack random spaceships. If your plan to rescue your home world from control by a superior technology, you may spend years or even generations figuring out and planning. Random pirate outings aren't high on the "things to do for the best chance of success" list. Oh well. I also found it annoying that she exhibited near zero curiosity about her mentor and the Empire's politics and weaknesses and enemies, just blundered about from victory to victory, always doing the brave, honorable thing. sigh.
I have read most of Glynn Stewart's books. He has taken some odd ideas and made good books from them. The Castle series is good, the Starship Mage series is great... and on the other hand there is this, where everything and everyone is boringly predictable except for that everything the hero does works out so amazingly well the aliens make her president of the universe. Not literally, but you get the point. The hero is the kid with a lemonade stand who found a grenade under her slipper and was made mayor of her city when she threw it in the trash. Why? No idea. I'd ask the author, but he wrote a whole book on it and he clearly doesn't know either. Aliens are weird? In summary, it's not truly awful but it's not great either.
This is a superior product. The story is good, the characters believable and the future well imagined. If you like space operas, get this one. You will like it. I went right out and got the next in the series.
This book wasn't bad I suppose, but I'm not sure why it was so highly rated. The main character was a cardboard Mary Sue, plain and simple. The ending felt like the author just hit his word count and had to wind it down real quick. The pirate scenes were interesting, but even then the main character is so emotionally moralistic that what should have been difficult choices were just brushed over. Basically the main character has a bad day when earth is conquered, then every day after that is a basically uninterrupted string of positive stuff/ amazingly good luck. I suppose the technical prose aspect of the writing was fine but the characters are about as flat as a CD. Maybe lot of space operas are like that, but it doesn't excuse poor characterization. What made it even more irritating was this part at the start about how the poor female captain was the only one to stand up to the mean admirals club who'd been sexually assaulting women and had lost her job. Normally that would be an ok way to humanize the main character but it was so ham fisted it ruined any sense of believability. The plot was passable... maybe the most redeeming aspect of the book. The space combat was atrocious though, like... really bad. I honestly had no idea what was going on most of the time besides that people were firing the torpedoes/lasers... fortunately I didn't have to worry too much though, you could guess the good guys were probably going to win. There was also a point about 3/4th of the way through when light speed suddenly started mattering for time lag on engagements but before that I can't recall any mentions of it being important. In fact the way the book is written time lag hardly matters at all except when it does. Similarly the weapons are... however powerful or not powerful they need to be to keep the fight feeling close but still eek out a score for the good guys. There's also, as another reviewer pointed out, the absurd race that can not lie, but somehow has an evil sub faction conspiring from within, not sure how that's supposed to work. Overall the plot of this book falls apart under any real scrutiny, but it is paced quickly enough to keep up the action.
Also as a brief addendum, this book seems to go out of its way to pay a bunch of lip service to a random gay relationship. Normally I'd shrug and move on except out of a crew of several hundred there are only two shipboard relationships mentioned and for some weird reason the homosexual one gets its own chapter. It always bugs me when books start moralizing and hammering me over the head with the authors politics, particularly when it's done with a sledgehammer. Just be aware is that bugs you.