Top critical review
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Needed a lot of Editing
on February 28, 2012
Wow. This is a story that had a ton of imagination behind it. The idea was definitely inspired, and for once a newer author allowed the characters plenty of free reign. The characters drive the action in this story, with their backstories and personalities meaning something.
Sadly, the story desperately needed someone who could have reigned in the writers.
Early chapters are flooded with "info-dumps" where several pages suddenly start explaining the planet the heroes are visiting, or some aspect of the technology in the universe. This left the story rather disjointed, and the early chapters do not flow very well.
Later the info-dumps diminish, only to be replaced by multiple page flashbacks. The flashbacks are solidly written, tell rather complete tales, and probably would have been much better as their own seperate stories, in building towards this tale. Some of them were definitely necessary to help reveal the personalities, but others again disrupt the flow of the story.
The biggest problem though was the characters themselves. Maeve and Coldhand both possess damaged psyches and events from their past drive their actions throughout the story. This could have worked very well, but both are rather unsympathetic due to the extremely unflattering ways they are described. Maeve as a broken junkie who refuses to allow anyone to become her friend and Coldhand's quiet madness due to the injuries that left him with a cybernetic heart and hand.
And of course, as the first book of a trilogy, only a couple minor plot threads come to any kind of closure or completion. The ending was more of a place that the story ran out of steam than a clear stopping point.
Overall, this is not a very good book. The writers have lots of talent and the story is impressive in its complexity and scope, but an editor was needed to weed out all of the asides that show up as info-dumps and flashbacks, and to tighten up the revelatoins of backstories so that they smoothly fit into the story rather than overwhelming the middle part of the story. Even the appearance of the major antagonists could be improved as the enemy appears out of nowhere about 40% into the book.
The sequel will be interesting, hopefully the authors will be less inclined to throw extra information at the reader but will continue to allow their characters to grow as the story develops.