Customer Reviews


29 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Quantum Rose is more than simply a science fiction romance. Asaro devotes considerable time to issues of physical/sexual abuse, gender expectations, societal change in response to rapid introduction of advanced technology, and the responsiblity that those in positions of power owe their constituents.
When Analog serialized the first half of QR last year, depictions...
Published on January 6, 2001

versus
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Writing level isn't professional, strangely.
I am a faithful Asaro fan who dutifully buys her hardbacks as soon as they come out. I expect to love her work, and so came to this book with high hopes. I was _really_ puzzled when I realized about a hundred pages into it that it was boring, meandering, confusing, and just plain sub-professional, writing-wise. I am only giving _Quantum Rose_ two stars as opposed to one...
Published on April 3, 2002


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, January 6, 2001
By A Customer
Quantum Rose is more than simply a science fiction romance. Asaro devotes considerable time to issues of physical/sexual abuse, gender expectations, societal change in response to rapid introduction of advanced technology, and the responsiblity that those in positions of power owe their constituents.
When Analog serialized the first half of QR last year, depictions of the heroine's abuse (physical and later sexual) by her originally intended caused quite a stir. Rape is a motif that Asaro returns to repeatedly: Soz in "Primary Inversion", Tina in "CTL", and Kelric (too many times to list here). But here it is presented graphically, not as an isolated incident, but in conjunction with brutal physical mistreatment. Long-term abuse is an issue that we tend to down-play because it makes us uncomfortable. Too often we blame the victim rather than the abuser. It is to Asaro's credit that she forces us to look at the ramifications of such behavior for the victim.
Both the hero and heroine serve their respective peoples by acts of extreme self-sacrifice necessitated by desperate situations. Asaro tackles the question of, "When is enough enough?" She also explores gender expectations and how differing worldviews lead to conflict between cultures. She does this much more subtley than she did in "The Last Hawk".
The romance between hero and heroine is intense and satisfying. There is far less sex than in "Ascendant Sun" and "The Last Hawk", and it is portrayed much less graphically. The heroine's planet is believable, although the author should have paid more attention to language and naming practices. If the base language descended from Tzotzil Mayan, then it's unlikely that names would be contractions of English terms (like Lyode from light emitting diode).
The book ends happily insofar as the major problems (you'll have to read the book) are satisfactorily resolved on the hero's home planet. There's a positive spin on introduction of superior technology. I found sections towards the end a bit sterotypical (reminiscent of Oz, actually) and far-fetched. If you've read the other Skolian novels and were curious about the non-military members of the family, this book is your opportunity to meet them.
All in all, it's a fine book, very readable, unsettling at times, and definitely thought-provoking.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Writing level isn't professional, strangely., April 3, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Quantum Rose (The Saga of the Skolian Empire) (Mass Market Paperback)
I am a faithful Asaro fan who dutifully buys her hardbacks as soon as they come out. I expect to love her work, and so came to this book with high hopes. I was _really_ puzzled when I realized about a hundred pages into it that it was boring, meandering, confusing, and just plain sub-professional, writing-wise. I am only giving _Quantum Rose_ two stars as opposed to one out of respect for the author, who has done much better with other tales.
Please: if you haven't bought the book yet, consider holding off from doing so. It's not a page-turner, the plot is not compelling, and kudos to you if you can finish it. I could not, and I'm really sad about it.
I have to wonder if multiply-published authors get a free pass with their subsequent books, no matter how bad. I also am wondering if this book was written BEFORE some of the others, as I know Ms. Asaro has published other books in a different order than they were written in. I would not be surprised if she had written this book first, at the beginning of her writing career -- I KNOW she is currently a much better writer than this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just a nice sf romance novel with some added cleverness, April 20, 2004
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Quantum Rose (The Saga of the Skolian Empire) (Mass Market Paperback)
"...a science fiction author who is not only a talented writer but an accomplist scientist"; "A deeply romantic novel set in space that was also an allegory for quantum physics..."; and "Wow, what a fabulous story!" I had heard so many wonderful things about the Skolian Empire Saga (and its brilliant author) that I just had to give The Quantum Rose a try.
Catherine Asaro invented a universe in which humans had spread among the stars ages ago through time travel. Some colonies, such as the one on planet Balumil, had been lost to their parent civilizations long enough to forget their origins, regressing into a sort of dark ages as their ancestors' technology slowly faded. Kamoj Argali is a beautiful young ruler of a province on Balumil who is being forced by circumstances into marriage with another governor who could only be described as a sociopath. Without warning Vyryl Lionstar steps in and claims her away from her sad fate; he has fallen in love with her at first sight. In the days to come Kamoj learns some uncomfortable truths about not only her planets' people, but the civilizations beyond. Now, it looks as if Lionstar needs her to stretch her psychological endurance to its limits so that together they can save the Skolian empire together.
I got almost what I had expected from this novel. Yes, it is a romance. Yes, it is science fiction. Yes, it is an allegory for quantum physics, employing clever wordplays and terms to complete the analogy. There is plenty of adventure among the stars, interesting cultural speculation and psychology explored in The Quantum Rose. The problem is, although I am otherwise well-educated I have never taken a physics class in my life and I cannot remember much about high school chemistry. Let's just say that the clever physics allegory flew right over my head, leaving me with...a nice romance that did an abrupt about-face in the middle and turned into a pedestrian interstellar adventure. Maybe if I'd had a better head for mathematics and science I would have found the alleged brilliance in this book more than enough to make up for its lack plot originality. As it is however, I can only judge TQR on its storytelling merit, which was just average in my opinion.
Asaro deserves credit for well-thought-out universe building and unusual insight into the complex relationships between her characters. I think of her writing style as having the potential to become very good, but unrefined here. Indeed, maybe her later books show improvement. The romance plotline was nice and standard, but gratifying to somebody who would like to see more such good sci fi/romance hybrids make it into the mainstream. BUT, unless you're a chemistry/physics/mathematics wiz, there is nothing particularly special about TQR beyond that.
-Andrea, aka Merribelle
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Scientific Romance, March 28, 2002
By 
lb136 "lb136" (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Quantum Rose (The Saga of the Skolian Empire) (Mass Market Paperback)
"The Quantum Rose" is another winner in Catherine Asaro's provocative and compelling "Skolian Empire" series. This one doesn't advance the saga all that far-it's more of a gapfiller than anything else--but it has a kick to it. The tale starts out as yet another take on "the culture that the galactic civilization forgot, and which has regressed" and has gone medieval.
Sounds familiar? But be not afraid, Toto. We're not in Darkover any more. Asaro has a new angle on the old idea, filling it with romance, high tech, low tech, dance, horselike critters (two brands) telepathy, and oh yeah. Quantum physics.
There's enough action for the space opera fans; steamy romance for the romantically inclined; and hard science for those who like their science fiction to emphasize, well, the science (an early version of the first half, we're told, appeared in _Analog_).
At heart, though, the story is about growing up and taking charge, as young Kamoj, torn between two men, Vryl of the Skolians and Jax of her own world, eventually finds love in all the right places, and grows as a person. So, in the end, the story is more about the development of character than anything else. And how many genre novels can you say that about?
There's enough material here for a 1200-page by-the-numbers trilogy, but Asaro, with her lean, mean, prose style, doesn't waste our time--she keeps things down to a reasonable 403 pages (plus appendixes).
This is a must-have for Asaroistas although newcomers would probably be better off starting with _Primary Inversion_ , which led off the series, before they tackle this one.
All in all another example of what science fiction can be in the right hands.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was a'right, December 3, 2007
This review is from: The Quantum Rose (The Saga of the Skolian Empire) (Mass Market Paperback)
Kamoj Quanta Argali is the 18 yr old governor of a planet of former slaves. When a newcomer on the world Havyrl arrives to recover from an ordeal which left him half mad, he spies Kamoj taking a bath in a river and falls for her. Impulsively Havryl offers to marry her which causes strife and conflict throughout the region, as Kamoj's spurned fiancee vows revenge.

I looked forward to this novel, but I admit I didn't care for Havryl. The drunken binges, the whining, and his 'tragic past' was a bit overdone. The relationship between Kamoj 18 year old (I don't care how biologically mature) and the Havryl 64 year old guy skeeved me out. I just don't like huge age differences between my romantic couples. At one point Havryl is talking about being a grandpa and described as being a hot-looking 40. Umm.. No.

There isn't much sci-fi in this one except for the revelations about Kamoj's people. I felt this was an okay book, which could've been better.

3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could Be Better--But eventually I liked it, April 3, 2002
By 
Kate Byroade "byroade" (West Hartford, CT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Quantum Rose (The Saga of the Skolian Empire) (Mass Market Paperback)
This was given to me as a birthday present by my best friend and after I read the first couple of pages I called her to say, "What did you give me!" But she wasn't home and I read a little more and I did get into and enjoy it.
The weakest parts of the book are the first few pages and the chapters on Havyrl's home world of Lyshriol. Asaro spent way, way too much time describing Kamoj's home planet's vegetation--from her point of view. Later on you realize that Kamoj's perception of color is most likely different from human normal because she has genetically altered vision that gives her feline pupils and night-vision. So, what does her world look like to Havyrl? And all these colors every where are described as these bright, lovely, fairyland colors like the land of Oz--I would have liked something more low-key and incidental throughout the story rather than whole pages describing to "turquoise tubemoss" and the like.
Havyrl's home world of Lyshriol is described as a sort of happy, happy neverland complete with glitter bubbles springing up from the vegetation as people disturb it. Charming, but after a while, pretty silly, as literally thousands of people are on the march kicking up bubbles.
All the references to language history were difficult to follow and did not contribute to any sense of otherness. "Argali" means "rose", while "quanta" means "quantum"--yet both are supposedly from the same ancient non-English roots? I don't think so. If a writer is going to refer to other languages, it must be done convincingly and with greater skill--otherwise forget it.
I liked the romance, I liked the love triangle, the characters, and I enjoyed the world-building as I began to understand the setting. I immediately found and read _Primary Inversion_, Asaro's first novel in the series and I was very impressed with it and I just wish _The Quantum Rose_ had been as well written. I do plan to read the other books in the series now.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best One Yet, November 25, 2000
By A Customer
Asaro has really hit her stride in this new saga in her Skolian universe. She successfully blends not just romance and hard science, but politics, genetics, cultural expectations and change--and gives us complex, fascinating characters.
Her villian is absorbingly complex; as she delves deeper into the ramifications of the Trader culture, Asaro is creating tensions and conflicts within what once were easy villains to hate--but at the cost of complexity. With THE ASCENDANT SUN and now this book, the Traders are coming into focus as individuals, some of whom are beginning to realize that they are part of a culture gone morally bankrupt, if powerful in every other sense. (One wonders what Jax is going to think, once he travels...)
Yes there is sex, all well-written, sometimes harrowing, other times graceful, with scintillants of humor.
Reaching the last page leaves the reader torn between a desire to reread more slowly--and to have the next book NOW!
Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious: I couldn't finish, November 24, 2010
This review is from: The Quantum Rose (The Saga of the Skolian Empire) (Mass Market Paperback)
Like other reviewers, I got this because of the Nebula Award. I guess it was a bad year for "science fiction," because this is a pretty bad book.
There is a chance the plot becomes interesting after the first 150 pages or so, but the writing is so bad that I could not be bothered to find out. The writing is bad on many levels: the prose is wooden and contains many mistakes (such as poorly placed adverbs and the like); the characters are simply Harlequin Romance characters (though not with their depth) at a costume party; the "world building" is like a pre-teen's attempt at a hero comic book; and the dialogue unfailingly unrealistic.
With so many other worthy books around (e.g., The Sparrow, which I finished just before I picked this up), I cannot think of a single reason to recommend this book.
I only gave it two stars because it was not (at least so far as I read) offensive.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Surprising Choice For A Nebula Award, November 17, 2002
By 
This review is from: The Quantum Rose (The Saga of the Skolian Empire) (Mass Market Paperback)
I bought this book because I had heard it won a Nebula award, but I should have been forwarned by the blurbs that were not from SF sources but rather from the Romance Novel set. This book had a number of major problems. 1) There are a number of major plot holes. The heroine make sacrifices becuase of the love of her country (of which she is queen) but the country and her knowledge of it are hardly developed at all. 2) I had a few laughs over the names of the 2 males in the triangle. Vyrl and Jax. Hmmm... 3) The naming of other characters after quantum states and terms in physics as also a bit of a stretch. 4)The central section of the book is tedious in the extreme, and I thought not terribly coherent or entertaining. Ultimately co-dependent pathologic relationships are a downer. In short if you are a SF fan that likes a logical story and interesting ideas, you may not find this the book for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A "science-fantasy" adventure-romance (with little hard science except as analogy), September 1, 2006
By 
Craig MACKINNON (Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Quantum Rose (The Saga of the Skolian Empire) (Mass Market Paperback)
The first question a reader such as myself (who is unfamiliar with Asaro's work) might ask is the following: If I want to read this book, which won the 2001 Nebula Award, do I have to read the other 5 books in the "Skolian Empire" series to be able to follow it? The answer, fortunately, is "no." This book works very well as a stand-alone story, presumably because it focusses on a Skolian character who is not prominent in the other books, and because the main character has not appeared before in the series. I'm sure that a veteran Asaro reader will find things here that enrich his/her reading experience. To an Asaro rookie, it will read much like Lord of the Rings - this is a rich and well-developed universe, and there are lots of things going on that don't directly impact the story at hand.

To quickly summarise the story: a planet (so far off the beaten path that its impoverished and mostly illiterate citizens have forgotten they are part of an interstellar empire) is divided into small provinces each ruled by a "Governor." Two of these governors - Jax and Kamoj - are engaged to marry, which will effectively merge their provinces. The advantage to Jax: a beautiful young bride with ancient family connections. The advantage to Kamoj: Jax's province is wealthy (hers is not) and Jax is a skilled administrator. The problem: Jax is also physically and mentally abusive. Into this dynamic drops Prince Havyrl who, on a drunken whim, outbids (with a bigger dowry) Jax for Kamoj's hand.

This sounds like the setup for a standard romance adventure. I think it's obvious from the start that Havyrl is not what he seems (a ditzy drunk) and that Kamoj will fall in love with him. The only question that arises is, "When, and in what form, will Jax's revenge appear?" Fortunately, there is more to the story than that, as we soon meet the remainder of Havyrl's retinue, including officers from the Imperial Fleet who have plans for Havyrl and his skills as a Ruby Psion (a type of telepath able to link with advanced weapon systems).

As a romance, I suppose the story works (I am not a big fan of the genre). Many reviewers have mentioned the quantum mechanical analogy that runs through the book, but really, that is just the inspiration for the chapter titles (as every quantum chemist has said in every class s/he's taught, "Beware of the dangers of applying quantum theory to the macroscopic world!"). Mostly, this is a story of politics - the politics of governorship on Kamoj's world, the politics between the Prince's Royal Family and their subjects, and between the "Allied Worlds" and the ISC (the military umbrella under which the prince's world falls). There is a parallel between the struggle between governors on a backwater world and the fate of two interstellar empires, but unfortunately, the bridge between the two stories is jarring and precariously thin. It's almost like Asaro had two short stories and tried to cram them together into one novel with a flimsy connector.

That problem notwithstanding, the two halves each work on their own. The stories are well-written and entertaining. The rich background provided by the first 5 novels is never intrusive, but lends positively to the feel of authenticity and richness of the reading experience. And really, the romance is not so bad, even for a male reader.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Quantum Rose (The Saga of the Skolian Empire)
The Quantum Rose (The Saga of the Skolian Empire) by Catherine Asaro (Mass Market Paperback - February 18, 2002)
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.