- File Size: 1547 KB
- Print Length: 252 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1492299774
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: August 24, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00EW8UQHS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,454 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$3.99|
|Print List Price:||$14.00|
Save $11.67 (83%)
Allotropes (an Ell Donsaii story #8) Kindle Edition
|Length: 252 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Matchbook Price: $0.99
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
See the Best Books of 2018
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-5 of 94 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
In the series, there's also Dahner's recurring hoplophobia. Really, Larry, guns don't go off very often at all when they're dropped. Most modern guns have design features that prevent that and landing on the trigger guard is one of the safer places for a gun to land.
Dr. Dahners excels at identifying myriad possibilities for the ports Ell discovered with her math breakthrough, and then working through the engineering and other technical issues that would be required to take advantage of them. In all honesty, he does not appear to find her physical gifts nearly as interesting, despite the prominent role they played in the first book. Ell does acrobatics, runs fast, and dances supremely well ... Dr. Dahners is clearly more gripped by her wonderful mind and this is tremendously refreshing!
He has just started to explore the medical uses of ports, and I am looking forward to where that may ultimately lead. But we aren't nearly done with outer space and, someday, the ability of people to move through ports.
First the criticism; then I'll get to the praise. The Ell Donsaii series is 95% plot-driven. There is very little character development to speak of. The 24-year-old Ell in Allotropes is not that much different from the 16-year-old girl who began the series in Quicken. The same applies to the secondary characters: they tend to be foils for Ell's character, which is to say, foils for Ell's *actions*. But the author tends to discard the secondary players once they have served their purpose to move the plot forward. There is very little in any of Dr. Dahners novels that would make us care for the people who inhabit them--and, I have to confess, that includes Ell, herself.
If Ell were a male, the series could easily be relegated to the adolescent-boy-fantasy realm of fiction. Perhaps it should be, anyway. Ell was born with superior physical and mental abilities, the result of a mutation that enhanced the already significant genetic inheritance from her father and mother. She is staggeringly beautiful, though the most Dahners tells us about her physical characteristics is that she has strawberry-blond hair and freakishly long legs. (This is as it should be, because Dahners is clearly uncomfortable describing interpersonal relationships.) Ell is also phenomenally wealthy, the result of her first invention (in Quicker, the first novel of the series).
Ell is, in effect, the perfect foil for the author's exploration of the science of quantum physics and its potential implications for new technologies as well as the exploration of the universe. Giving Ell unimaginable wealth and virtually limitless resources--both intellectual and physical--the author is free to twist the character in rather surprising ways as he explores the hard science of the near future he has imagined.
There's only one problem: Ell is fundamentally a dishonest person.
In the early novels, Ell went into a putative "witness protection program" and was given a "new identity" that was, essentially, fat and ugly. Dahmers explores the Shakesperian confusion of the "ugly" persona wanting the "hot" guy who wants her "real" persona. It's interesting, for a while, but ultimately just becomes tedious because he can't sustain the narrative.
By Allotropes, the deception has become so common (and absurd) that Ell thinks nothing of disguising her husband, what'shisname, so she can compete in the Olympics yet again. The explanation given in Allotropes is an expansion of the author's understanding, that Ell is so famous and recognizable that if she is to live a normal life, she must do so in disguise.
There is a theme here--and it goes beyond the typical "celebrity avoiding stalking" one. Ell always confronts challenges involving her identity by lying about them. She is relatively comfortable lying to her friends. She only reveals her identity to her new lover---soon to be husband--after having sex with him.
Now to the praise:
The author has boxed himself into a number of narrative corners in this series of novels, but it is unquestionable that he has created this wonderful narrative universe to explore, and I look forward to reading future novels. I don't think we've seen the last of Sigma Draconis, God help us and the rest of the human race. At the end of every novel in this series, the author has left us with "hooks"--not exactly cliffhangers--that give us tantalizing expectations about future novels in this series. I look forward to reading about the industrialization of the carbon---as opposed to silicon-based--semiconductors that are implied, if not promised, by Allotropes.
I also really appreciate that you can tell the author put a good deal of thought into these technologies and they don't miss obvious uses and problems. So you really feel like you are following smart characters.