Top critical review
Still not the best sci-fi, but getting better
on 27 November 2011
This is still not the best military sci fi and it does not, in my view, deserve four stars and even less five. There are still a number of typos, although not half as many, and this is a nuisance more than anything else.
However, there are a number of significant improvments. The plot, with the build up to a great space battle, is better planned, although not very original (again, we have spaceships using one of Nelson's tactics) t and this makes the book more exciting: definitly better than Book 3 which I found rather lame. I do like the description of the various ship types but would want to learn more about the Confederation, its history and the previous war that is always referred to but on which we learn precious nothing. I would also like to learn more about the Confederation's institutions, and society. Here again, the reader is reduced to the bare bones and has been ever since Volume 1 (Siege of Titan)...
Having said this, this book still has some of the usual flaws found in the previous volumes:
- it is much preferable to read the books in order, meaning that each of the books is not self-sufficient and they tend to break off without properly tying up a story, giving the impression that the author finished the volume after hitting the njumber of pages requested and no matter were that left the story
- the characters, as usual, are two-dimensional or stand out as caricatures. A typical example is that of Admiral Jarvis, of which we know next to nothing and which we see strutting around her command deck or making lifting speeches in each volume of the series. Most of the characters are not particularly interesting or not particularly credible. One example in this episode is Captain Hoods, although I'll stop there to avoid any spoilers.
By and large, it's certainly worth reading and better than the previous volume but it is still not among the best military sci fi.