The Ashes of Worlds Hardcover – Jul 1 2008
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About the Author
Kevin J. Anderson has written 41 national bestsellers and has over 20 million books in print worldwide in thirty languages. He has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the SFX Readers' Choice Award. Find out more about Kevin Anderson at www.wordfire.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
I must confess that I belive I suffer from some type of OCD / sado masochistic disorder. It became manifest and evident through my continued mental self flagellation in one click purchasing book after book. I hated myself for purchsing the first sequel, and that continued through each subsequent installment.
Do yourself a favour, skip this tripe.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book arrived on my doorstep Friday and I finished it by Saturday night. I have to give Anderson credit for creating one hell of a good story in Ashes. Of course, like any good final volume, Anderson ties up all the loose ends, but he puts our heroes through a lot along the way, but in the end we get the satisfaction we've been waiting for throughout seven books. If you're not reading The Saga of the Seven Suns you're missing one hell of a great science fiction series and one hell of a rollicking good time.
This fails the test of great space opera, it was a big disaster movie put to print.
The explanation for known science is sadly idiotic. I understand that describing science is often a problem for speculative scifi, as it puts speculative science and engineering at risk during the story, so I will not criticize that. A few of many horrible mis-statements
From of Fire and Night
1- Admiral Stromo asking about emergency signals from Qronha. The Response from communication officer "We're still very far away sir, the transmitters on the pods are not very powerful". Power has to do with the strength of the signal, more power cannot overcome limitations of the speed of light.
2- A scene with Jora'h and the hydrouge emissary
" The emissary's voice manifested as a throbbing hum as if it were manipulating air molecules to transmit sound waves rather than using a simple speaker system." are you kidding me.
3- on Forrey's Folly- explanation for the lack of planets. "while coalescing, the sun had lost its grip on most of the material in the primordial cloud and hadn't had enough mass left over to create any planets worth counting. .... But the metal asteroid Forell's Folly was there for the taking." This explanation was poor
Emotions- you get to feel for some characters pain due to loss, and it was effective. There are other examples where this fell short
* DD the companion computer - Consistently wrong characterizations of emotions expressed throughout. There were supposed to be clear limitations to what it could feel, by its own admission, but complex emotions kept coming out including fear.
* All elementals- no attempt to describe the emotional wars inside all of them, potential conflict among their society. Some attempt with the Wentals. No attempt to use their POV. This is a total abdication for a work of this length and scope. They are four caricatures of fantasy creatures with great powers. Another way to consider them is (boogeymen [drogues], fairies[ wentals] , imps [faeros], and damsels in distress [verdani], It makes them cheap
* Ildirans- there are so many kiths, but descriptions were poor, the contrast between humans and Ildirians was also poor, and this is significant as there was cross breeding.
* The physical description detail was wildly inconsistent in terms of beings and landscapes
* A poor job of describing hydrougue cities, etc. Through the eyes of DD, Osira'h, Brindle, etc.
* Great opportunity missed- on so many levels, compare this to Iain Banks, China Mieville, Peter Hamilton
* down right poor overall, terse, never an extended conversation about views of any kind. Most concepts are delivered in expository form, which provides little excuse for ignoring the viewpoints of the elementals.
* The chapters are arranged in tiny components which really does not lend itself to getting into vital scenes.
1) An overuse of exposition, thereby avoiding scene and character building.
2) Excessive repetition, in the form of re-capping what previously took place. Not just at the beginning of the book to refresh the reader's mind, but throughout each book, every 20 pages or so, we get a recap of what we just read. Worse still, this is sometimes delivered in the form of dialogue between characters.
3) Deus-ex-machina. In fact, nearly every conflict and or problem is resolved in this manner, with a new weapon, invention, discovery, or even a whole new species popping up out of nowhere to save the day just in the nick of time. This happens repeatedly in all 7 books.
4) Plot driven characters: the characters all behave, speak, and act however the plot demands at any given point, rather than---as in good literature---reacting to events in a natural, logical, or consistent way. This creates many, many head-slapping, eye rolling moments for readers, where supposedly intelligent and rational characters behave like perfect morons to reach the next plot point.
5)Internal consistency. There isn't any. No consistent technology, physics, biology, or any decernible rules to the 7 Suns universe. Races that have amazingly advanced tech in some areas, are abysmally backwards in other aspects without any attempt at rationalization. The tech works either as brilliantly or as restrictively as the plot requires at any given point. Sometimes ships cross thousands of light years in a few hours, other times it takes weeks. Sometimes characters can walk around fully exposed to deadly environments, other times they require space suits. The insect race who has billions of disposable worker bugs invents a highly advanced army of robots (why? What purpose?). The same insects have star gates that allow them to travel from planet to planet, yet they still use standard space travel. There's sentient water, sentient trees, sentient fire, sentient gas molecules and no explanation for how any of these things function, or why they function, or even what their abilities are. It's just magic. Like thism, it works because it wants to, if we just close our eyes, hold hands and believe...
You get the picture.
The series as a whole is fundamentally flawed, with shallow characters, poor plotting, and no discernible science or logic to the internal universe. For example, take the Faeros--they can fly through interstellar space where there's no air and no temperature, yet in at least one scene, they can be extinguished by repeated water runs from starships (and why starships would be capable of putting out fires is another example of a flaw--they can do it because the plot requires them to be able to do it).
This final book is completely predictable. Will the villains get defeated? Yes, and exactly in the way you'd expect. Will there be ridiculous coincidences throughout the story to make sure the plot gets moved along. Yes. Will author Kevin Anderson repeat pieces of the story we just read a few pages ago? Yes. Will the chapters be too short and often pointless? Yes.
I suggest saving yourself a lot of time and just read a summary of the book. The who series could have been done in three books with decent editing and a lot less exposition. This ending, which was a long time coming, is neither satisfying nor interesting. If you've read all prior six books, then I suppose you're compelled to finish the series, but if you've only read the first two books, don't waste your time going on. But for anyone who enjoys reading or a good story, don't expect a sense of accomplishment at finishing this series.