Top critical review
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Okay story, poorly told
on June 22, 2012
I like science fiction. But I find it difficult to like this book.
There are two types of readers. The first reads to find out what happens, and the second reads to enjoy how the author lays out the unfolding story with words. This book is clearly written for the first type of readers. The plot is very linear: it lays out the challenges faced by the characters in a very linear fashion, and, in almost all cases, each challenge is neatly resolved within a few pages after being introduced. There is no suspense, there is no mystery, there is no excitement. It is as if the characters are going through a long exam -- read the next problem, solve it, pat self on the back, rinse, repeat. That is a poor way to tell a story.
And the story itself is not that great to begin with. The main characters possess such overwhelming technological, material (monetary or otherwise), intellectual, and supernatural capabilities that there is never any doubt that they will, in the end, prevail. Sure, they do suffer setbacks, but it is obvious that the setbacks are awkwardly inserted into the plot to keep the story unfinished (so that the author can write a sequel). The extraordinary capabilities possessed by the characters (which are numerous) are poorly developed -- used as nothing more than a time-saving device so that the main characters can achieve in days the accomplishments (ranging from scientific discovery, engineering feat, to finding true love) that would typically require years. Instead of making the characters fascinating, these extraordinary capabilities makes their accomplishments underwhelming. Going against all odds makes a good story. Having all odds stacked in your favor, not so much.
Two stars. Not the worst book I have ever read, but that is about all I can say.