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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2013
Hrmm, it was OK, I suppose. Not gripping, in fact I thought the whole thing fell a little flat, but I also wouldn't call it a disaster or drivel. It was just uninspiring. The main characters did a lot of running around, surmising their situation to each other, and remember things, but very little of significance actually happened. Not nothing, mind you, but not as much as you would expect for 300+ pages, most of which was useless description of stuff. The romance/sex was abrupt, pointless and out of place, the writing/dialogue were stiff and sophomoric, and the characters baseless.

What rescued the book for me was Kirizzo. He was about as far from human as an alien can get, very centipede like. But I found that I related to him more than any other character in the book. This was largely because he was far more fleshed out than any of the others, but also because he's wasn't bogged down with useless details and his unbiased assessment of humans intriguing.

The story seems to be an interesting beginning to something. It's definitely not a stand alone book. The problem is that, having finished it, I don't what the primary plot arch is or will be. Is it an action adventure, following two romantically involved artefact smugglers--Indiana Jones in space? Is it a space opera about an errant daughter on the run from her politically and militaristically connected father and his morally debased government affiliation? Is it a sci-fi about exotic alien species being encountered for the first time? I have no idea and at this point I should.

Again, it's not a bad book. It has an interesting premise. The writing, though stiff, seemed well edited. I don't remember any noticeable typos. The whole thing just left me, personally, a little cold. But there are undoubtedly readers out there who will feel differently.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2011
As the believable situation unfolded it kept drawing you in with action ... Telisa, a xenoarchelogist is recruited by a group to retrieve alien artefacts from a newly discovered planet. Only problem is that the government has a shoot to kill policy on smugglers to keep the wraps on the alien artefacts. They are discovered and a chase continues but they end up finding a live alien and have to co-operate to escape out of a situation caused by an even older extinct race. Whilst perhaps a familiar story line for a sci fi addict there where nice twists and this story also nicely captured the essence of alienness.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2012
This is another of those cheap n cheerful books by an unknown author that the Kindle is so good for. It, like most of the author's other books, appears to be only available as an e-book.

As is typical of books like this, the writing is not of the best. Dialogue is wooden, there are a few minor inconsistencies in the plot, and characters are very flat. But, as is also typical of these cheap self-published (I assume) e-book only stories, it's a decent enough piece of light entertainment, and so gets three stars. It would get less if it had all the extra costs of "proper" publishing, but as it is you can still just sit back and enjoy the story.

Oh, and there's an obvious setup for a sequel, which I look forward to reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2015
Telisa Relachik studied to be a xenoarchaeologist in a future where humans have found alien artifacts but haven't ever encountered live aliens. Of all the aliens whose extinct civilizations are investigated, the Trilisks are the most advanced and the most mysterious.
Telisa refuses to join the government because of her opposition to its hard-handed policies restricting civilian investigation and trade of alien artifacts, despite the fact that her estranged father is a captain in the United Nations Space Force. When a group of artifact smugglers recruits her, she can't pass up the chance at getting her hands on objects that could advance her life's work. But she soon learns her expectations of excitement and riches come with serious drawbacks as she ends up fighting for her life on a mysterious alien planet.
Except the book doesn’t start in Telisa’s viewpoint – the Prologue pitchforks us into the head of the intriguing forty-legged alien, Kirizzo. It’s always a big ask to depict an alien with conviction, hence most science fiction authors’ reluctance to undertake such demanding characterisation. So I was impressed at McCloskey’s spirited effort, which he just about pulls off. Unquestionably, Kirizzo is my favourite character.
While there is nothing wrong with Telisa or the other human protagonists, I found Kirizzo’s strangeness engrossing and unusual. I also very much liked the environment where the alien encounters the humans. It provides plenty of tension and I felt even more could have been made of this creepy place – I hope it will turn up again in future episodes of this story.
Meanwhile, Telisa’s story arc, where she joins a smuggling gang because any legal opportunities to study alien technology have been systematically shut down by the government, works well enough. The writing is smooth and there was nothing in her character that jarred. But the vividness accompanying McCloskey’s writing about Kirizzo wasn’t here. The book isn’t a long one and cracks along at a fair pace with plenty of pleasing details that flesh out McCloskey’s world. The ending brings the story arc to a satisfying conclusion, with sufficient dangling plotpoints to encourage a reader to go hunting for the second book in the sequence. Once again, it is Kirizzo’s story where the climax really packs a punch – and is the one which will prompt me to add The Trilisk AI to my already-bulging virtual bookcase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2013
It's pretty much a reworking of the (far better written) Across A Billion Years, by Robert Silverberg. There are points (unmemorised - this is a book you'll have fun reading but are unlikely to want to re-read) that are jaw droppingly poor but for the most part it's a competent, unremarkable romp. Nice attempt to make the alien alien, we don't see enough of that. But if you can only read one "on the trail of a lost ancient alien civilisation" book then you'd be mad to read this and not Silverberg's. But you can read them both, and hey, for a buck....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2012
While not quite on the par of Iain M Banks or the "classics" like Azimov or Clarke, it's still a decent read. Not novel length but certainly entertaining enough that I finished in a couple of sessions. There is room in the story for a chase/evade sequence which could have made the navy thread stronger. The ending resolution is a little weak and obviously left open for a sequel - which on the strength of this, I'd get without thinking if priced as fairly as this one is (72p)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A great balance of a well-paced adventure plot with a well thought-through alien - and a very alien one at that. And not too many of those jarring moments when late 20th Century presupposition destroys the illusion of far future. I'm looking forward to the next one and hoping that the logic of a millipedal, multibrained alien will be developed further.
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on 10 March 2013
As the first book in a new series, it is always hard to judge how it will be received by the readers and how the plot and writing format you have chosen will fare under the readers careful eye.
The book starts off with a general introduction and adds usefuls bits of information for the reader to get a idea of what this futuristic universe is like. As the plot progresses there are times where you feel that a bit more information would have been nice or a paragraph on some background for that piece of information. Hard to work into a plotline but would have been nice so that you didn't feel as though that universe was being hidden from you. Some areas where it felt jumpy and skipping over the details but the plot was good and had interesting twists on other sci-fi novels in the layout and plot development.
Overall, worth a read if you are into these kinds of books.
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on 2 April 2013
I saw this advertised on, of all places, a political bloggers website and was intrigued by the artwork. I know, it's never usually a good way of judging anything but I like a bit of space opera so I gave it a go. The writing is a little simplistic and sometimes lacks the kind of depth that you get from more established writers but the story itself moves along at a good pace and doesn't drag on too long. It's basically an alien encounter story, the alien being a kind of armoured earwig thingy and set, for the most part, in the ruins of another, older, alien civilisation. There are some interesting idea's and one or two good action sequences so, all in all, for less than a couple of pounds, it's worth giving it a punt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2015
I really enjoyed this. Imaginative and reasonably well paced. From the description I was able to create the aliens and worlds easily in my mind.

Going to read the next one.
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