Top critical review
Catachresis Mr Da Prima
on 28 December 2016
I bought the series some while ago and recently re-read it. The review is therefore to some degree a review of the series not just book 1. At the beginning of this book, the author makes a strong statement about using language: 'to enjoy this book fully you should have a high school education or at least be willing to use a dictionary'. OK, so far so good; I have no objection to an author using words I might need to look up. I also agree that some authors need to work on their writing skills. Unfortunately dear Mr Da Prima does rather fall on his face metaphorically speaking. There are big words used, but sometimes, sadly, not correctly. One shining example he uses a couple of times is the use of the word 'orotund' to refer to a table: orotund refers to speech or writing which is pompous or pretentious, or of a voice that is imposing or resonant, and its use as an adjective for a table is just wrong. I would agree that his writing is, however, on occasion orotund, especially in book 1, though it does taper off in later books. Also, for an author claiming to write to a high standard, the confusion of discrete and discreet is shameful.
Having got my rant over, what about the storyline? Well, as space opera it fits the bill well enough, and the adventures of Jenetta Carver are interesting in a fairly superficial way. I found the best bit to be the way our heroine manages to work out how to get out of what seems to be one impossible fix after another. She does, though. tend to lead a charmed life in terms of always getting to meet people who are nice to her with a few carefully chosen exceptions among the 'baddies', so her advancement in the ranks proceeds without any real issues of jealousy which I found unrealistic. I have no real issue with the physics; after all it is space opera. I do however feel the aliens are not really very alien at all, but all seem to end up sounding very human even if they don't always look like it. All in all a jolly enough read.
[Catachresis: 1: use of the wrong word for the context, 2: use of a forced and especially paradoxical figure of speech (as blind mouths)]