The best bit of this whole book was the opening chapter when the first alien ships attacked our erstwhile hero. It reminded me very much of old school WW2 submarine warfare where the opponents used stealth and tactics to win. Well thought out and taut.
I really thought I was onto a winner here.
Unfortunately the book rapidly tailed off after a promising opening into a wandering mess. Not all bad as the space warfare was competently written, albeit without any real excitement or suspense being generated. Characterisation all the way through is one dimensional and I really couldn't care less what happened to the various protagonists. Interaction and conversations are generally stilted and lack reality.
Then there is the pseudo religious gobbledygook that is hidden away into this. The author states (in the voice of the main lead character) that he is not particularly religious - then goes onto immediately talk about believing in a 'higher being.' This combined with the visions - which I'll not say too much about in case you want to buy this - all lends itself to being not quite right.
The main thing that lost my interest is that Wehr introduced AI piloted fighters early on who are so clearly better than a human at everything it removes any need to have people in this book at all. And because you spot that almost immediately you lose interest in the humans instantly because they have no real point. They can't fly as well, can't navigate as well or even plot or strategise as well.
My gut feeling is that Wehr is trying to do an Asimov with his 'Robots' here, with the eventual outcome some books down the line of the AI 'people' ending up becoming benign human guides and protectors. Unfortunately Wehr does not have Asimov's panache, technical ability or writing skills to back it up.
Then there are the aliens. Or not. They are not developed at all beyond the opening chapter of simply aggressive space ships. No information, no build up of anything. Simple one sided baddies in the same way a cheap 'B' movie from the 30's might punt out.
When the book is finished, Wehr adds some words about his book including a whinge about people giving low star ratings. Reality is that star ratings when taken as a whole seem to be remarkably accurate. Yes, there will always be extreme ends but the average is surprisingly close to the truth. Hamilton gets average four to five star ratings and he deserves them because he is a great writer of sci-fi. Same for Currie. Wehr does not deserve four or five stars because he is not at their standard and I don't want to be preached at regarding this at the end of a book. I appreciate that other reviewers feel differently, however I suspect that readers of more established authors in this field my feel the same as I.
Overall what we have here a a fairly average, space opera that has some highlights but is generally okay at best.
9 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?