Top critical review
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Has its moments
on 18 December 2011
If possible I would rather give this book a 3.5 rather than a 3, but it is definitely more 'just ok' than great.
That's not to say there is not plenty to like here. On the contrary, I found the book to be fast paced and based around a very interesting idea which for the most part was enjoyably explored. I got through the book in one sitting, so can have no complaints about its ability to draw in the reader and, though not hugely deep, it did have some good thoughtful moments to complement some fun action and technobabble, as well as the contrast between the clashing cultures to appreciate.
Unfortunately, I found the potential of the book to be higher than the book itself; the execution could have been far better. The central premise was good and there were good moments, but on the whole I found it hard to care a great deal about the predicaments of the characters, of which there were far too many. In of itself this would not be a flaw, but the deliberate short, punchy scenes that contribute to the fast pace of the book also make it hard to spend any amount of time with any one individual or group of characters, and the narrative flow does have a tendency to jump around a great deal as a result, and the dialogue and exposition has to be, at times, far too terse and obvious to get things moving.
It was more of a style issue than a deal breaker, however. I would have preferred a more limited cast, or more time devoted in longer sections to developing plot points and characters, but it was still an easy to read romp with a fascinating concept and oodles of potential for the author to explore, and I am looking forward to seeing how they develop things further in the series.