- File Size: 1632 KB
- Print Length: 348 pages
- Publication Date: April 28, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01EZ9ZK7O
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,778 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Commander Kindle Edition
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Then, we got this gem, and I honestly moaned in pain: "The so-called barrier of the speed of light is like all the other artificial barriers your race invented. What do you think happens when you accelerate to the speed of light and just keep accelerating? You go faster, that's all." Holy sh%t, what an idiot! We have more evidence supporting relativity than nearly any other scientific theory in history. Every experimental run in every particle accelerator proves relativity works trillions of times! Once for each particle they accelerate to near lightspeed.
If this is all you know about science, stick to vampire stories. This just made me feel ill. Good thing it was on-sale or I'd be angry.
There are some major plot-holes and negatives. First, there aren't any (or many) actual aliens. The galaxy is mostly inhabited by humans, with varying degrees of skin color (Blue, green, red, etc...). On top of that, apparently Earth humans are mostly unique in that they have yet to drop their tendency for violence yet are still in existence. That apparently puts them in a positions to become part of a project super-superior-but-non-violent species known as The Nobility. This Nobility is capable of creating super-intelligent AI that has "Creative Modules" but are apparently unable to create AI that is capable of violence. But wait, once Earth Humans get a hold of AI, they start using the AI for violence. Well that must mean The Nobility is so against violence that they won't even put their AI to it. But wait, they're OK with giving the violent Earth humans the technology to do it for them...? You see, there's some issues there, and that's just one of a handful of major plot-holes you have to ignore to enjoy the story.
My next major issue is Annie, "the Commanders woman." First, she's a caricature. She's a one-dimensional caricature of the Japanese tsundere mindset. She finds out that the 'top-dog' AI has put a bomb in Luke's head. So what does she do? She decided to start acting like drunken trailer trash, having to be held back (For who knows why... it's an omnipotent AI... It's everywhere and nowhere...) from attacking the AI because she's so upset about being betrayal and lied to. It's just a spiral of stupidity from there. Honestly, the best thing the author could do in Book Two is kill Annie. If I read Book Two and Annie does die or at least has a better personality that isn't your stereotypical low-class trailer drunken trailer trash (and she's supposed to be a semi-successful business woman), I'm going to stop reading and just give the book a 1-star review. The only reason I'm giving this a four-star is because was able to wade through the Annie-trash and there's still hope for the second book.
The Commander is fun, and easy to read. The Author(s) have a very clean writing style, and the pace of the book matches the urgency of the threat in the beginning. That is to say, the tone matches the plot for a very big chunk of the book.
Sam the "Alien" just shows up, gives Luke a quick primer and the keys to the castle, and buggers off merrily to parts unknowable. Leaving him in the care of an AI named George. And, true to life, the enormity of this task doesn't dawn on Luke until several days later - at which point he nearly breaks down. Well done.
There's very little internal dialog on Luke's end, and we're allowed, if not adequate in universe time, adequate book time to get to know him. He's a pretty simple character, but everything we learn about Luke we learn organically, as we would if he were a real person.
The foreshadowing of the Alien threat is done well, and when it's revealed the reader will either feel vindicated or well informed, depending on how observant they are.
Now, for the not-so-good:
I had quite a bit of trouble remembering any of the secondary characters, and found myself having to flip back to when they were introduced often to get a handle on just who I was reading about at any given time - they're all glossed over pretty heavily, and most are quite forgetable. The female lead, Annie, is a good example. While writing this I had to check back with my notes to confirm her name. I remember everything she did, but not who she IS, if that makes any sense.
We have plenty of time with her, most of which is written from her P.O.V., but I never really found anything to latch on to that would define her as an individual character - she seems to be more defined by her relationship to Luke than anything else. Annie seems frustrated at her label as "the commander's woman" several times in-book, and to be quite honest she was so shallowly written that that's all I could really remember her as myself.
Other minor characters are worse off - I remember a guy named Roth? I think? Maybe ran a moonbase? But was he the old guy, or was that Tyler? I've made notes of all these things, but I really don't think I should have to look at them - considering I finished the book yesterday.
This next bit isn't the Author(s) fault - it's just a trope of the military science fiction genre that drives... me... up... the... WALL.
It's the "Only humans are good at war" trope, and it's rampant. If you're familiar with this genre, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The galactic leaders raise humanity up to face a galactic threat, because by god they're intelligent creatures and smart enough to have never engaged in such stupid warlike behavior.
This is the thing - there are survival pressures in any evolutionary environment. I don't give a crap what planet you're on, some other species wants your food, your space, or your on-board meat. (YOUR FLESSSSHH!) If you don't have a way to stop things from eating you or your food, then you don't create offspring, and you die out.
Several authors have found ways around this truth, but the vast majority that I've seen use this trope just ignore it.
But back to the book -
Honestly, at no point in the book was I really worried about the protagonists, because nothing seemed like a real threat to them. There were a couple times when Luke or Annie were in actual physical danger, but it wasn't written tensely - so it took me until after the scenes ended to realise they could've really died - and even when I did it didn't really hit me in a fundamental way.
You can really tell when the authors start winding it down - it's more rushed than the beginning, and tonally it makes less sense. But there's no real... climax, because the aliens aren't a real threat to our heros, and we all know it.
All in all, I'd say this book was a pleasure to read, but not a pleasure to have read. It's written with the understanding that it's part of a series, so I'd wait until there's at least two more books in the series before picking it up. Maybe further books will provide a more comprehensive arc, and perhaps some dramatic tension.