2.0 étoiles sur 5
why I won't be reading the sequels, Aug. 10 2002
Judging by the other reviews here I'm clearly missing something.
I came to this book expecting an easy to read Sci-Fi pulp story, hopefully entertaining, at best uplifting. I almost got what I was expecting, but not quite.
To it's credit, it held my interest enough to actually finish it, and the internal logic and scientific concept was consistant and well-thought out enough to be believable. That's about the most positive thing I can find to say about it.
As I began to read I was so stricken with the clumsiness of the dialogue and the two dimensional gimmickry of the characterisation that I assumed this must be a very brave (and lucky to be published) first novel. Not sure if that's the case, but my hopes that there might be a powerful or clever twist that had contributed to it's acceptance by the Publishing House were sadly not to be realised.
There is a sense throughout that it might all be worth it, but the ending is so weak as to leave me resenting the time spent ploughing through the final chapters, misprints and all. I was amazed to find on completion that the author has gone on to pen a whole series based on the characters found in this book, each of which can be reduced to one 'interesting' personality trait.
It is littered with the sort of literary rule-breaking that requires an artist of much greater stature than this for justification. For instance, I accept that his use of dialogue so clumsy as to be (literally) sometimes in fictional alien tongues was an attempt to give his conceptual hybrid human/alien language an exotic feel... unfortunately it succeeded, in my case, only to irritate.
Probably the most interesting character is introduced in detail early in the story, only to play no further role. The Sci-Fi cliches come thick and fast.
A strong ending could, perhaps, have excused the weakness of the prose, but this, unfortunately, was simply not forthcoming.
I don't normally find it useful to contribute such negative reviews, but amidst the shining praise found here, I really felt there needed to be at least one dissenting voice to warn to potential first time reader.