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3.0 out of 5 stars A decaying Series, 17 Jan. 2006
By A Customer
This is the third book in the set that started with 'A Boy and his Tank', and continued with 'The War against Earth' however this story is largely tangential to the main characters of the previous two books, Mickolai and his intelligent tank Agneiska.
It largely covers the life of - as the title suggests - Kren, a member of a rather unusual alien species, it describes his rise first to sapience and then to power. The lifestyle/society of these aliens is fairly interesting however the story of Kren's life soon becomes: and then this happened, and then that happened, and so on - it becomes fairly mundane.
In between this story - sort of slipped in between chapters - we are refered back to Mikolai - we get a sort of compressed view of what is happening in his life - we jump years in a single sentence - the aim of the authors clearly being to get him to a position in life where he can confront Kren. However this account of his life is so abbreviated that it isn't really an enjoyable read - you get the feeling that the authors are cheating somewhat. In amongst these brief words on Mikolai's life we are suddenly introduced to a new alien species - an apparantly friendly one which more or less introduces itself to Mikolia, says 'hey there, we are friends' and Mikiolai kind of says 'fantastic, why don't you help us against these other aliens' OK it is a story and strange things can happen in stories - and indeed in real life, but this uncritical interaction just isn't credible.
I don't really want to give away any more, as it would spoil the plot, but the story finishes at a point which is perhaps convenient for the authors, but which has no natural ending for us, the reader. It is like those television series which usually have one story per episode, but occasionally you will get to the end of a program and in big letters it says 'To Be Continued Next Week....'
I felt that this story is significantly poorer than the proceeding books, and largely felt that the authors were being lazy. It is the first book I have read by either of the authors that I have felt was poor value.
I suppose that I will read the next book when it comes out ... the authors do have a good imagination and the previous two books were well constructed and enjoyable reading, I guess that everyone can have an 'off day'. So if you've enjoyed the first two books, it's probably worthwhile reading this one too ... but it really isn't up to the standard of the first two books in this set.
I've given it 3 stars, but really it is probably more a 2 1/2 star book in my opinion.
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