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A far cry from Deamon/Freedom
on 12 September 2012
After having read Suarez' previous two books, the well written, truly captivating and very exciting Daemon/Freedom combo, I was sure I was in for another fast paced techno joyride.
But I was disappointed.
Kill Decision has a pretty similar setup, the same fundamental premises with autonomous gizmos and man-machine battles as well as a lot of technological ingredients that reminds of its predecessors, but it has a very slow start - unlike Daemon that starts with a gripping jolt of action and suspense - and only develops slowly and with very weak characters. It's littered with way too many details in the wrong places. Do I need the Latin name of the trees, the precise model number of the cars and the make and model of all helicopters, guns and other gear? Do I need ad verbatim Chinese and Swedish dialog.
No, I don't.
The book appears overly researched to me, and it seems like Suarez hasn't wanted to waste any of his thorough preparation, so a lot of unnecessary facts and details have found their way into the book.
It takes a long time for the characters to develop into something that I can engage with, and even then some of the main characters are still pretty two dimensional and not someone that I can become genuinely interested in. The orphaned mercenary Odin the female professor with the many boyfriends... oh, man! So many stories could have been told that would have made them much more interesting. The scene where the kora-playing soldier talks about middle eastern heavy rock and death metal is a good example of what gives a character some depth. I really miss more of that.
The book does gain momentum, and the concept of autonomous drones is used with skill and well orchestrated. I read it to the end - which by the way is so obviously open that it reeks "sequel". A sequel that I will probably not buy.
If you like science/tech stories and haven't read Daemon/Freedom, do so. But only go for this title if you are contempt with much less excitement and writing that doesn't quite live up to what the author is clearly capable of.