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Forbidden The Stars (The Interstellar Age Book 1) (Volume 1) Paperback – August 1, 2010
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I'd like to first point out that the noise when a chapter changes, it needs to be shot and taken out of MY misery.
The story itself was interesting. It has a whole heck of a lot of characters, but they aren't difficult to keep up with. You know who does what and why.
For the most part, the narration is pretty good. He's good at keeping the characters separate with different voices. Although there are a couple characters that I shuddered at his interpretation of them. One, I will admit is a bias of mine. I cannot stand when adults do children's voices. It's the equivalent of raking nails on a chalkboard in my head. Then there are his Asian characters. Ever see those movies around World War 2 when they had white people playing the bad Japanese guy? That's what it sounded like. I felt like I needed to apologize for listening to it.
Although a bit repetitious and a little difficult to keep up with at times, the story was captivating enough that it held my interest. Although the audio version I have contains all three books, even if I didn't already have book 2 I would have been interested in continuing.
The problems with the book were numerous. First, the science was really bad. It seems the author researched his physics and that is good. However, he failed to continue past high school physics. When dealing with space travel and the science needed for such a venture it is kinda necessary to go past the elementary physics. Newtonian physics only applies to objects on earth. While some of the basics still apply in space i.e. Newton's three laws still apply to human and human sized objects. Very large and Very small objects do not necessarily follow the same rules. Thats where Quantum Mechanics come into play.
Secondly, the storytelling was very flat. The use of language was advanced but it was not put in a way to make me care or follow along with whats going on. Its like the author just throws out big or unusual words to make himself better. There were many instances of vocabulary and grammar structure that people just don't read very often anymore.
Thirdly, the characters were really flat. There was no empathy brought to the characters. I finished reading this book just before writing this and have already forgotten the main characters (ten year old boy) full name. They aren't memorable. One of the Antagonist was all kinds of powerful at the start of the book and had his minions all scared of him, but is taken down with a single paragraph on the "EarthMesh". I get the feeling that the author just didnt know what to do with that character and rushed it. His demise isn't even described. The reader is left to assume that he is taken down. The ending was little rushed too. There is a huge chunk of information that is missing.
I won't be reading the next in the series.
The author could have used a good editor -- there are many mistakes that should have been caught before publication, as several others have pointed out (for example: when someone refers to a male character as an "ingenue"). Characters are not well-developed, and seem to exist only to play out their role in the story. What's more, the last part of the book seems to have been hastily written with the idea of starting on a sequel, and does not match the better-written beginning.
The author tries to include scientific detail, but does not seem to know enough science. Science fiction should have a solid basis in science -- otherwise it's fantasy (that's OK too). It's not simply a problem of misuse of a few terms, but rather the author's attempt to describe things in detail and getting it all wrong. One can speculate about new elements being found in space, but when the author goes into the detail of electrons, protons and neutrons, then he should be expected to get it right. Anyone with a background in chemistry or physics could have saved the author from some real howlers.
I am looking forward to the sequel -- I just hope the author turns it over to a good editor first.
I read the whole book almost at once, and bought the other two books in the series, reading one after the other.
Science Fiction! Fun! And the action happens all over Earth, not only in a particular ethnic group. Goodies and baddies come from all over: North America, South America, Asia, in space stations, on the asteroid belt, at the end of the solar system and beyond. Then alien conflict awaits among the stars!
I kept reading in hope to find out what happened to the boy. Is he going to die? Is anybody going to rescue him? Is there going to be first contact? Hostile or friendly? Money, power, greed rear their ugly heads making it harder for everyone involved!
I kept reading until all three books were done, but I want more of these books.