Top critical review
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A so-so read
on 8 August 2003
I love good space-opera novels, and am prepared to read a few not so good ones on the way. I really don't know which category to put the Serrano novels in.
On the positive side the some of the characters, such as the Yacht's owner and members of the crew are well realised and interesting, others are painful caricatures. Such as the evil nemesis admiral, with whom, as others have commented, the final encounter is just too pat; and the ‘rough’ crewman who can be relied upon to know every shifty deal and win every brawl as well as the flighty dilettantes that find wealth and privilege don’t buy them everything.
My biggest gripes are that as somebody not interested in horses, and someone with no liking at all of fox-hunting, there were large passages in this book I ended up skipping just because they were too dull. Lots of jolly aristocrats out leaping hedges etc. To be fair it reads like Ms Moon knows her stuff but unless you’re into horses too it’s hard work.
I know Sci-fi is often full of clichés and ‘borrowed’ concepts, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. The whole ‘they’re hunting people!’ plot line read as tired and uninspired. It’s such an old, old, old theme it really needs some spark to give it a fresh feel. ‘Hunting Party’ didn’t have it.
It does have some nice touches however, the starports and life on the yacht, the impression of a social and political theatre around the main protagonists are all alluded to well. There’s some nice foreshadowing of events in later books as well.
The next book, A Sporting Chance is far superior, and as such I’d consider ‘Hunting Party’ worth reading as a prelude, and for some of it’s better points