- 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).
- 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.
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