Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hugo 2015 Reads - The Dark Between The Stars

OK, I didn't post this earlier, mainly because I was hoping my interest would be rekindled after some time away. It was not. I didn't finish it, but I gave the ol' community college try and read a fourth of it. Is this entirely fair to Kevin J. Anderson (whose Star Wars books I enjoyed)? No. But it's life, and I hope to finish it later in the year. My mid-book grade would be 2 of 5.

The Good:
  • It was fast-paced, with short chapters. This seems like faint praise, but it moves the pace. I think it's underrated, especially in a Kindle book. Seeing "1 min more" means I'm finishing the chapter.
  • Some cool ideas among the various interstellar races and tech. But trying to introduce so many leads to... 
  • It's fun space opera! Not too serious, good ideas, not obsessed with tech. Which is what I'd expect given his above-average work on the Art Formerly Known As The Star Wars Exanded Universe (sniff, sniff. We'll always miss you, Mara).

The Bad:
  • He just has too many balls in the air. There are a bunch of alien races, some very cool, a few human factions and it's just a bit much. I think he'd have been better served by starting with fewer POVs and branching out more later.
  • Speaking of the humans, they're pretty flat. Now, I am only partway through the book, but several felt more like stereotypes (especially the driven, vengeful career woman and the ethically-challenged CEO) than people. Again, this can change later in the book, and I'll definitely post a full review when I'm done. 
Current Ballot (Pending 1 Vote):The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman (Not a nominee, but amazing)
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Not a nominee, but very good)
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
No Award (this is an option in the rather complicated, but logical, voting process)
The Dark Between The Stars by Kevin J Anderson 

No comments: