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The Powers of the Earth (Aristillus) Paperback – November 16, 2017
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- Publisher : Independently published (November 16, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 661 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1973311143
- ISBN-13 : 978-1973311140
- Item Weight : 2.11 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.66 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #292,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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What Mr. Corcoran does to the concept should be a crime, because he makes it his own, cranks it to eleven, over-clocks it, slaps on a VR overlay, then, just to rub salt in the wound, adds in the best uplifted species I've read in many years.
While TMISAHM is more quotable, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" was popularized due to Mr. Heinlein, Mr. Corcoran is a better story teller for the 21st century. I know. Blasphemous and unfair. Read it and see for yourself.
Mr. Corcoran does heroism of the smart-man-with-a-screwdriver well. The sort of hero that takes a look at the deck stacked against him, cracks his knuckles, and ignores the odds as he gets down to business. The hero could easily fail, but he's not going to accept fate quietly and submit because things are bleak. Mr. Corcoran has crafted several believable characters that use their wits to get out of hard situations. The solutions aren't deus ex machina moments, and quite often, they only work once. His world is populated with heroes and villains and the average Joe just trying to rub along with his fellow man the best he can, as political forces begin to change everything.
Despite the size, it's tightly written (with a few exceptions, mostly two "well, that's convenient" events. I won't spoil it for the future reader since he might not notice or care). Mr. Corcoran builds the world in logical chunks, giving the reader just enough to understand and orient himself before plunging into the action. If you want blocks of text detailing the world, I'm sorry to say but you won't find it here.
Mr. Corcoran is strongly libertarian, but his heroes aren't without their flaws and his fictional moon colony not without its weaknesses. His villains have solid motivations, they aren't slinking into the scene, twirling their mustaches while they kick out the destitute widow and orphan from the apartment for being a day late on the rent. It's unabashedly pro-libertarian, but doesn't deify it. He extols the benefits and at the same time he works in some pitfalls and warts.
Aside from all that, Mr. Corcoran also paints a bleak near-future Earth that's part "1984" and part "Brazil" and all too close to home.
I can only wish Travis Corcoran better luck in his next writing that has nothing to do with this one. On the last page of the book he asks for help in writing more SF novels. Please do so. It would be nice to get my money back but I really wish I could get my time wasted back.
Top reviews from other countries
I could have used just a little more visual description every now and again, how to imagine the smart dogs, for example. Drop a star for that? Nope.
It`s rare to find good work - publishers routinely buy work that is not as tight as this - so 5 stars it is. Oh, and yeah I payed cash for the second book in the series without hesitating. It`s just as good. I'll be looking out for more.
This book is one of those books that you skim parts of because you are so desperate to find out what comes next, try not to do that one too many times, inhale it in all it's glory and relish every moment of it, cause you are gonna miss it once you are done.
Personal note: I get that guys from Texas like their guns and keeping their emotions bottled up but to me those kind of characters are some of the least believable ones in a story, you know the type, the hardasss who like to do it all myself and the world can eat a dick because he is just so good at what he does yada yada, dunno maybe cause I'm not from the area so I guess I can't relate but characters like that seem paper thin caricatures to me no matter how redeeming a story arc you give them.