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“First-rate planetary adventure as experienced through viscerally plausible and very human characters. The universe described is well-constructed, shows wear and tear, and feels lived in. Thoroughly enjoyable ride.”see full review » see other reviews »
“classic space opera”James Clardy wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Five stars are not enough for this book. It's rare to read a space opera coupled with the craft of story-telling that comes with this story. ”Charles Boyer wrote this review Friday, September 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Rating: 5.4 / 10
This book is getting a lot of hype – George R. R. Martin sings it praise – so I had to check it out. The general consensus is that this book is space opera at its finest, but where too many space operas get bogged down in endless descriptions of the spacecraft or minor scientific details (or completely botching the science), this one sails above them by actually having character depth, and a story that moves. I have to like it just for that.
Now, don't get me wrong, this is pure unadulterated pulp sci-fi. There's no great introspection on the human condition or dire warnings of things to come (although the explanation of Holden's parentage is fairly interesting). This is just good, cheap, summer fling pulp. It's about as deep trickling stream in the dry season.
Which is not to say that it's bad. But.... I began to read this when I was sick, looking for a distraction and something I could feel free to zone out on. When I got about 80 or so pages in, my plate suddenly filled up, and I found myself with a stack of to-read books a mile high, all important research with deadlines. There was many a time I contemplated putting this book down for a few months.
But the nonstop action kept me coming back. Once you're familiar with the characters, every chapter leaves you eager to read more.
James S. A. Corey is a collaboration between Daniel James Abraham and Ty Corey Franck (with the middle initials taken from Abraham's daughters). Franck, as far as I'm aware, is not a previously published author, though he was the genesis for this novel through worldbuilding he'd put into a rollplaying game. Abraham is an established author, though I've never read anything of his.
The story follows two principle viewpoint characters in alternating chapters – James Holden (written by one of the James Corey duo) and Detective Miller (written by the other). The year is not specified, but humanity has expanded to Mars, the Belt, the Jovian moons and has science and mining stations in the Saturnian system – and interstellar Mormons are preparing for the first interstellar launch to fulfil their religious Manifest Destiny. It details the beginning of an interplanetary war between the three powers of the system – Earth, Mars and the Belt – all the while strange happenstance about with stealth ships and kidnap jobs, private contractors and an infectant from the moon Phoebe. As it's written in part as a mystery, I won't spoil anymore.
My main problem with this book is the prose. It's entirely lifeless – well, not entirely, but very close. The characters were obvious cliches, but I didn't mind that. The alternating POV chapters worked really well. The story was about 90% as riveting as I could want. The pacing wasn't all that well established, weeks or months going by in one chapter and then shifting to hours in the next without transition.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I'm definitely curious to see where the next book is going to take it.”
“The simple fact that I'm slightly depressed that I've completed the book tells me that this was a great read. Part noir, part action-packed war film and space rouge adventure serial —it's got a little of everything. The overall plot is pretty consistent with great power politics and balancing against one another, competing, plotting, and maneuvering. The future is rough and worn enough, filled with tiny tidbits of authenticity to make the reader feel its all entirely plausible.
The characters at times felt a little cheezy to me, at least. But then again, this book is just plain fun, and I think those bits fit nicely into what I'd call a 1930s serial set in space. Enjoy it, don't tear it open.
I picked it up on a whim after I'd heard of an acquaintance reading it, and I'm glad I did. There are copies everywhere, so it must be popular. Its over five hundred pages, which initially worried me because I'm reading a handful of books at the moment. That soon faded as the pages flew by and it became my primary book at the expense of the others. The chapters are short, which is always one of my first concerns when reading. Even with limited time, I burned through this book in a few days, and by the conclusion I didn't want to put it down and I didn't want it to end. I needed a nice reprieve from all the non-fiction I've been reading and this definitely fit the bill. Without a doubt, I'll be reading the rest of the trilogy. ”
“3.5”Tommi I wrote this review Sunday, March 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Great space opera. Definitely looking forward to the rest in this series.”Mike H wrote this review Tuesday, March 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I cannot express enough how much I loved this book. I rated it the best read of 2012. Check out my blog
“This is epic, "hard" Science Fiction as it ought to be: reflecting upon the current state of mankind without rendering the story a cheap allegory; aiming to be as realistic as possible in its depiction of futuristic technology without leaving out the capacity for wonder; establishing both a thrilling plot and a set of relatable characters, generating an organic whole that is both plot- and character-driven.
I won't write too many words on the actual story, as any attempt at highlighting my favourite parts would inevitably delve deep into spoiler territory. Read it: chances are you won't be disappointed. I certainly was not.”
“Solid pre star-drive Sci-fi with a bit of Noir and Horror thrown in. Sense of Adventure: 4, Sense of Wonder 3, Feels real 5. I really enjoy space sci-fi that all takes place in the solar system and this one did not disappoint.”Skiznot wrote this review Monday, February 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No