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Top customer reviews
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In short, these colonists didn't suffer bad luck. They suffered from an extreme case of inadequacy wrapped in a warm blanket of sure-minded stupidity and general incompetence. Failure was not only an option - it was built in from day one. They got what was coming to them. Maybe the orbital-entry scene was supposed to be suspenseful and action-packed, but as an engineer all I could do was shake my head and want to toss the program management team behind the mission out an airlock. I groaned all the way through.
I'll fast-forward and limit spoilers other than to say the prologue gave away pretty much any surprise the author attempted to preserve. Also, the author inexplicably side-lines some of the more interesting characters just as I started to care for them -- note I didn't say "killed" - I mean they become nothing but background radiation with zero storyline. The characters you get to like - and their stories - all go away and are never touched again, not even in passing. No dialogue, no interaction, no nothing.
The author obviously has ZERO experience with any kind of expeditionary work past, present or future. He put together a scouting-mission crew through deep space that included mission specialists who just decide last minute to tag along. Most of the crew is constantly afraid of everything and few have any real desire to do anything other than mope around. Heck, one of them spends her entire time in the book within touching distance of their downed spacecraft because she's terrified of open spaces. They are hardly the swashbuckling variety that humanity has historically relied upon for our frontiers. Again - when you are this careless picking your advance team you earn the repercussions of your bad choices.
Anyway, the premise was solid but the execution flawed. There were some legit good elements in here, but I just feel strung along by the author. He could have turned out a much smaller short story omitting nearly everything in the middle and nothing would have been lost. Too bad, because there was a great deal of potential here.
In summary, we're looking at Robinson Crusoe without the adventure. There are moments of discovery and adventure, but they are few and far between. Crusoe had its plodding moments, but these at least were geared towards the discovery of an inner resolve lacking in our characters.
The fact everything kinda works out in the end is due to a rapid application of deus ex machina. It feels like the author ran out of steam about 2/3rd through the book and just rushed things along by closing off major plot lines in favor of plodding through just one (deadline?)
I strongly recommend this novel to anyone even remotely interested in reading about what it might be like to explore beyond our solar system in search of a new home for the human race...
Now get back to finishing the next chapter in the Frontier Saga!!! And when is the TV series going to come out??? You're ready to take this to the next level!