This is the first book in the "Twilight of the Empire" series, the trilogy prequel to Green's eight volume "Deathstalker" series. If you've read and enjoyed the Deathstalker books I expect you would enjoy this trilogy. If you are new to Green's work, this would be a fine place to begin.
"Mistworld" displays Green's finely balanced ability to tell a stirring space opera style tale while still injecting bits of humor and other business that lighten the mood at appropriate times. Some of Green's other series are played more for humor and snappy patter, (the supernatural Nightside books, especially, and the pun filled James Bond homage "Secret History" series to a lesser extent), and I'm a big fan of both. "Mistworld", though, follows a more serious and traditional line.
Green does great villains. His bad guys are remorselss and creepy. Maybe it is the underlying air of arch and bemused detachment he brings to the affair, but in any event they just jump off the page in waves of malice. As a complement, he does menace with real aplomb. Not scary, but malevolent. In Nightside this is played a bit for laughs; they are just so over the top. Here, he tones it down a bit, and that just makes the villains even creepier. In opposition to this his heroes, (or anti-heroes or reluctant heroes), are conflicted, and never fully confident in their odds of prevailing, despite their outward appearance of confidence and capability. This makes his heroes particularly appealing and engaging. Once you have that going for you, pretty much any space opera plot will work. But even here, Green supplies twists and turns and layers that keep the reader interested and invested. This book is interesting because everything happens on Mistworld, and Mistworld is a pretty claustrophobic place. Hemmed in and blockaded Mistworld is hanging on by a thread. All the characters have histories with each other, but there are still plenty of surprises as the plot and its various subplots unfold.
So, this isn't sword and sorcery, or light sabre and sorcery, or supernatural, although there are hints of that style. This is gritty and dark and sometimes reads more like futuristic noir than anything else. All of these are good things, and if any of this sounds interesting, well Green is a good author to know.
Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
I really enjoyed this book. This was an author that I had not come across before. I know. Shame on me. I do not generally read a great deal of sci-fi, but I found it to be an interesting, relatively easy book that was a pleasure to read.
The story was exciting and imaginative. I enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of the world that the author had created. Mistworld was picturesque and fascinating in its own prosaic fashion. It was a hard brutal place to live though.
The story was well paced, with plenty of action. There were many intriguing and engrossing characters. In particular I liked Investigator Topaz, and would have been very interested in hearing more of her back story, of which we only caught glimpses. I also liked many of the other characters, all of which I found to be well formed and believable.
This was a tale of intrigue, murder, mystery and technology. There was corruption and betrayal galore.
I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys books that inhabit different worlds, with a sci-fi slant, and that are easy to read and downright enjoyable.
I first read this many years ago and I loved it. So this was a reread! It is the first in the death stalker series and it is by far the best of the three prequels. The world building is excellent, the characters are great and it is an enjoyable book.
Mist world is an outlaw planet from a vicious empire. They keep the empire out by using a psionic shield, where espers use their skills to protect their home. It is a cold, hard place to live and law and order is in short supply. Cat, a roof runner, sets out to steal a crystal which can power the disruptor cannon which is intended to take some pressure off the espers maintaining the shield and that is just the start of the trouble.
Simon R Green is a great writer; his works span sci fi; fantasy (hawk and fisher) and urban fantasy (the night side). Mist world is a great place to start your travels with him! Enjoy.