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Escape Velocity Paperback – February 12, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Steven J Pemberton was born in England in 1970, the son of a librarian and a teacher. It was probably inevitable, therefore, that he would grow up loving books and the imaginary worlds they conjure. He now lives in Hertfordshire with his partner, where he works as a software developer. Visit Steven's website at www.pembers.net for bonus material and news of forthcoming releases.
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Top customer reviews
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The good news is, the English is fine. It isn't laced with a bunch of spelling or grammar errors. I also like the way it started unfortunately it changed quite a bit. Some of the things I didn't like about it probably won't bother other people so keep reading this.
Here's what I didn't like:
1. I can't provide concrete examples of much of what I didn't like because they would be spoilers, which isn't fair to the author or reader, so in vague terms it was kind of like a bad holodeck experience. If you don't know what that means, look it up, or better yet, start watching Star Trek. If you don't mind episodes of Star Trek where the holodeck is the primary plot crutch, then you will probably be fine with this book.
2. It bordered on romance. There was a fair amount of awkward light petting and the main characters shared the sort of fantasy level love you would find in a romance novel. It wasn't totally unbelievable, but not totally realistic either.
3. It was clear that the author had boned up on his science because he mentioned it in the asides, but he seemed to leave a lot of it out of the main story.
Very mild spoiler alert==============
The author has someone running in zero gee. I'm pretty sure you can't do that. He also has them building a large structure in a ridiculous time frame. Again, paraphrasing Star Trek, "The entire antimatter chamber is going to have to be reconstructed from scratch, captain. It's going to take 2 hours." Really?
End very mild spoiler alert===========
4. It's confusing.
5. During the climax there just wasn't that sense of excitement and anxiety there should be. The end just seems to happen without any great conclusion.
6. There were some inconsistencies and self-contradictions, which really bothers me.
So if you have a liberal attitude toward the logic in your science fiction and you don't mind episodes of Star Trek that take place primarily on the holodeck, then this is the book for you. I should also mention that despite the references to Star Trek the book was nothing like Star Trek. Think holodeck here.
I've loved Steven Pemberton's earlier work (in the fantasy genre) so I was looking forwards to reading this book, and I really did enjoy it a lot. It's full of interesting ideas about reality, physics, and AI, but more important (to me) the characters are engaging and the action keeps up a good pace. I'm not sure from the ending whether this will turn into a series: there's more interesting stuff guaranteed to happen in this world, but I think I'd be equally satisfied if that was left off-screen for my imagination to fill in.