on July 21, 2012
I'm on page 247 and am calling it quits. It seems that this book would be great for someone who is not an avid sci/fi reader, but for those of us who love the genre may have a few problems with it.
First the names and discriptions of some of the races are just silly. For instance Moxen, who look alot like upright standing ox. Mewlatia, who look feline(mew, you know the things that cats "say"). Extollers, can you guess this one? Yep they keep the exorcized spirits of their enemy with them. It just got annoying after a while.
Then there is the over explaining every detail. Sci/fi is fun because it allows you to use your imagination, but the author, I don't think, trusts the average reader to be able to do that.
I had this book in my Kindle for a while and had been looking forward to reading it, now I'm just bummed.
on October 28, 2012
I have no idea who wrote the positive reviews or the description on the back. I wonder if they even read the book. I read the sample 53 pages and was not impressed. I had to double check to see if this book was the right one or if I had confused it with another.
I only bought it because of the good reviews and blurb about a strong heroine. When I got to 107 with no females to be found, I just gave up. I did search the book to see when/if she showed up. She does, on page 133.
the characters you are introduced to in the first hundred pages were not people I even cared about. Some things they do, let someone mourn for 7 hours when they have just been ambushed, are silly.
The book was painful to read. The author liked top use "boom" "kaboom" "hahaha" which was jarring and inappropriate.
The reader that compared this to a song of fire and ice is lying. They are nothing alike. Game of thrones was full of rich descriptions and intrigue. You loved or hated characters. I honestly couldn't care less about the characters in this book.
Read the sample pages. If you don't like that, then don't bother with this.
(returning for my 2.99)
on January 7, 2013
I really wanted to like this book. I met the author at a convention and we actually traded books and signed our books. Sadly, this book is a bloated and slow moving book which does not play with the tropes that it's using so much as dig them up and pretend that it's got something new to say. The plot lines are convoluted and the writing just drags itself along. I suspect that hiding in this book is a fast-paced 200 page thriller, but instead it offers up paragraphs like the first one -
"The universe was dying. The Durax, a vile race of creatures that had come to rule by an ability they used with unrelenting malice - mind powers. Their wicked craft divided their species into horrid castes based on their mental potency and the self-inflicted mutilation that came with it. An individual Durax's capacity for telepathy, mental torture, telekinesis, and mind control determined his place in The Order and his usefulness to its wretched overlord - King Helekoth. Because of their incomparable abilities, the Durax believed it was their destiny to reign over all life. WIth the help of their cruel gift, they swept through the stars, ravaging planets and enslaving entire species. But there were those who fought them."
That's the first paragraph. One paragraph that takes its time telling you everything you didn't want to know about a boring alien race that is basically The British from the 19th Century - but with telepathy. The second paragraph has another alien race but by the first paragraph, there's really no reason to keep reading.
Traditionally, these kind of books get the "needs an editor" criticism but in the case of this book, Sean needed a few years and a few writing work shops to perfect his craft before he even considered publishing his book. This bloated thing should have been aborted.
on July 21, 2012
Full disclosure: I received my copy of Death Drop for free as part of the Goodreads.com "First Reads" program, which throws out books to the huddled masses in order to help promote the books and get people to write reviews.
I was really looking forward to reading Death Drop... The back cover quotes were all stellar, and the reviews I read on Goodreads and elsewhere really made me think that the novel would be heaps of fun.
This is a novel published by one of the many really little publishing houses, and one which clearly needs to spend a considerable amount more on their editing staff. I don't know whether the author here felt the need for an editor or not, but one was sorely needed. One well versed in the style of modern science fiction.
This book... It's hard to know where to begin. The plot revolves around the "last human in the universe" and her struggle to survive in a life where she's one-of-a-kind. This is a hard plot trick to pull off, since there's really not much to feel very connected to, as a reader.
But we do get descriptions. Oh, do we get descriptions. Paragraph after paragraph of needless, mind-numbing description.
For instance, from late in the book (page 468):
"The machine was fixed laterally by two rectangular expanses of lattice that stretched from its undercarriage and beyond its sides. Two giant cogs sat in a machined slot at the end of each brace and meshed with notched tracks that lined both sides of the room like ancient tribal markings in a metallic cave. A smaller diameter sprocket was welded to each wheel and extended from their centers like toothy crowns, but these were not royal adornments for the potentate pieces of the operation; they were yokes for the master's tether..."
I'm sure this looks great when rendered visually, but in prose, it just causes my eyes to glaze over. This detail is never used in the story, beyond this effort to make the settings seem more real, and so mostly I just feel kind of pissed off that the author seems to be putting real effort into overloading with pointless details. In cases like this reader imagination works wonders, and can often create equally plausible and yet fantastic ways of making things happen.
Did you catch that? "Rendered visually." It's a thought I had over and over again. The author was also fond of using sound-effect words as sentences. "KABOOM!" was a frequent one. This is something that you see in comic books, not in prose novels.
There were other errors of style that rubbed me the wrong way each time I came across them (the use of bold text for emphasis, rather than oblique text, quotation marks around italicized thoughts, rather than the quote-less equivalent, and the overuse of the exclamation point are just a few of the issues that pop easily to mind). This, more than any particular story-telling failure of the prose, makes me think the author published with no experienced editor helping.
Mr. Allen: This really wants to be a graphic novel. If you want to write a novel, fine, but find an editor experienced in the genre you're aiming for. Otherwise, call every artist you know: this wants to be a graphic novel, not a prose novel.
2 of 5 stars.
on February 24, 2012
Death Drop by Sean Allen is a fun, well-paced science fiction adventure set in a universe as fascinating and diverse as it is scummy. There are plenty of villains, betrayals, and plot twists to keep the reader hooked. I picked up the digital version of the book after meeting the author at a convention and was thrilled with the read--a long book, by the way. To be enjoyed in many sittings.
What I value most about the book is the phenomenal world-building. The universe is detailed, complex, and interesting, and the characters have the opportunity to fly (or crash-land) their way through a healthy portion of it in this epic storyline.
Allen also has a dazzling capacity for writing gripping, visual action scenes that push his characters to their physical and mental limits. Time and time again, you find yourself wondering what more could go wrong, and how Dezmara (the badass main character) could possibly get out alive. She never fails to surprise.
I found that some of the writing could be a little overwrought in places, but the excellent pacing kept me reading for the story even when the prose was a bit heavier than I like.
on November 9, 2013
SPECTACULAR!!! I couldn't put Death Drop down. I was completely entralled from page one. Action, suspense, mystery, a gripping page turner from start to finish. If you are a sci-fi buff this is the book for you. The detail in the descriptions from the characters to the many worlds you are transported too completely draw you into this high octane thrill ride. I am a really looking forward to book two in the series.
on July 12, 2012
I would give this a 2 1/2 star review if I could, simply because it was free. Had I paid for it, it probably would have been 2 stars at best.
First off, the positive...there is an interesting story here, and I did want to find out how the story plays out. Dezmara, the main character, and her sidekick Simon, were enjoyable characters, and I did find myself caring how their exploits turned out.
However, I found the writing style to generally feel like a chore to read. More often than not, I did not feel encouraged to get to the next page. Often it just felt like page after page after page with nothing really happening. An early battle in a space port that seemed to take about 15 to 30 minutes of story time, felt like it took 50 pages to get through.
Also, after reading the reviews on this site, I thought someone played a trick on me when I started reading the book. Dezmara, the main character and most appealing character in the story, doesn't appear until about 20% into the book. So if you do decide to read the book after reading the reviews, be prepared for this.
I am not going to spoil the ending of the book at all, but I will say I was disappointed in the ending and have a lot of problems with it.
So, while I did find some interesting ideas and was interested in how things moved along, I did not enjoy my time reading the book, and I don't think I will get the next book. The author's writing style just isn't for me.
on June 14, 2012
After reading the reviews, I expected something outstanding. On starting, it appeared to be written for young adolescents- lots of action, heroes and villains, but sacrificing good characters for the sake of another leap on the plot. I struggled and nearly archived it. The reviews kept me persevering, and it was worth it. The last half of the book continued to get better, until I really enjoyed the ride. My impression is that the book was written over a very long period, and the author greatly developed during the writing. The main character, Dezmara, becomes increasingly engaging over time, and I admit to a burning curiosity as to the origins of this lone human in a bizarrely peopled (alien-ed) universe. If the second book starts like this ended, then it will be well worth
on August 5, 2014
Action packed space thriller from the first page! From the Prologue to the Epilogue, Death Drop is fast paced and explosive! The characters have souls of their own and Sean Allen brings them together in a synergistic blend of charisma and wanton action packed mayhem!! Reading this book is like a roller coaster ride for the mind!! You are being led one way and suddenly being slammed into another heart thumping direction! Many surprises, twists and turns. Some likable...some not but all come together nicely! Read it twice and I'm thirsty for more!!! I am looking forward to the next book "Daelekon"!
on June 18, 2012
I don't write many reviews and I am not amazing at literary analysis (although I enjoy reading) so please bear with me. Also Amazon doesn't allow half stars so I would actually rate this book 4.5/5.
I recently bought a Kindle so I can read causally (something I have not admittidly been doing as much as I want to) and this was the first book I read on it. Death Drop turned out to be a very nice blend of a sci-fi setting with some fantasy elements (a number of species have abilities that can be seen as 'magical'). The characters were nicely developed and the descriptions of both the setting and the action scenes were well detailed.
The handful of narratives going on kept me engaged throughout the book, however at times one narrative would continue on a little longer than I would have liked and I wanted to move to a different set of characters to find out what was going on there. As mentioned before, there are some rich details although in some cases I found them to drag on and made it harder to visualize. Some of the action scenes were a little unclear on what exactly was going on and required me to reread the passage a couple of times to try to figure out what happened. Lastly I found some parts that read a little awkwardly and a couple of misspellings (cute instead of chute near the end for example) although some of those cases may be correct since I am not great at writing myself.
Despite the negatives listed, the book was very good and I am glad I found it. To me it was a unique story with a lot of potential and I am awaiting the next installation in the series.