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Rath’s Trial (The Janus Group) (Volume 4) Paperback – June 2, 2016
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Top Customer Reviews
If I didn't really enjoy the Rath series, I wouldn't hesitate to provide a critical review, but Piers Platt has done an outstanding job in most respects. I highly recommend this series to sci-fi buffs and also to those who like military/political techno thrillers!
Rath goes back for love. In the process, he's captured by the law and has to stand trial.
The Janus Group is disbanded, but what does that leave for the remaining Guild members to do with their time and skills?
An aide makes a career change, and a cop gets a partner.
Loved it! The story fleshes out the different people's story lines, gives you more to look forward to, and has a crazy twist at the end.
A well-developed world woven with interesting characters in a flawlessly written, fascinating story I long to see on the screen.
by Piers Platt
Reviewed by J Bryden Lloyd
Note: I was gifted a copy of this work for an honest read and review. The following, as with all reviews, is my personal opinion of the submitted text.
Writing Style – 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
For me, this was a nice read… it felt just a little too hectic. Although everything is there, and the reader will quickly find their feet back in Rath’s universe, the flow was a little broken and this made the whole thing appear too fractured.
The dialogue was good, and did serve to bind a lot of the slightly-frantic narrative together, as well as settling the characters into their plots.
Although this read doesn’t have the feel of its predecessors, it remains reasonably solid and very entertaining. All-in-all, this is fairly decent and, if you enjoyed the first three books, you won’t have any real problems with the style and pace of this one.
Character Development – 3.5/5.0 (Good)
I don’t think the author played a complete hand on this one.
Familiarity took me nicely into the read and I did feel that Dasi and (to a lesser extent) Rath, both improved a little as characters. I liked the idea of the AI and Dasi, as this allowed the plot lines to evolve, but beyond this, the characters (both new and old) felt really closed.
I felt more distanced from Beauceron and with Paisen’s focus moving to pastures new, she did not feel as dominant a character as she had.
If the new characters had perhaps been created to better fill the gaps left by the ongoing development of the established ones, this would have felt a lot stronger.
Descriptive – 3.5/5.0 (Good)
So, another widely segregated set of sub-plots and another series of descriptives which feel a little ‘diluted’ by the need to push the narrative along.
This isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. Many readers are more than happy to forego “boring descriptive” in favour of the story. Occasionally, I am in that number.
However, for me, with such a variety of environments and locations, and such a diverse cast of characters, I did feel that this needed a significant descriptive input. Yes, there was some, but much more was needed in terms of scene-setting and atmospheric descriptive.
The dialogue supported well, but to be honest, without that backdrop, several of the characters became very, very forgettable.
Language & Grammar – 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
Solid word selection and usage. Great vocabulary and structure from start to finish.
Perhaps a few too many minor errors in the editing department, but nothing a quick sweep wouldn’t put right.
Plot – 4.5/5.0 (Excellent) – VERY MINOR SPOILERS
This is a very nice continuation of the series.
Although it begins from a ‘fresh start’ point-of-view, the ghosts of the past still loom large for the main characters, and it is this which leads to Rath’s capture, as he makes his bid for that tiny piece of normality in his life.
Meanwhile, a new threat is making moves to destabilise the government.
The big question is, how do you stop something when you don’t know it exists?
I found the sub-plots engaging and cleverly interwoven. The intrigue of the whole work is quite brilliant, and but for the loss of definition in the characters, this would be a truly outstanding read.
General – 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
Once again, the typically sci-fi cover will do its duty and reel in the fans.
Again, perhaps it falls short of conveying the story, but it doesn’t really have a major detrimental impact on the book as a whole.
I enjoyed this very much, in the context that – as part of the series – it held up well and moved the story forward brilliantly.
Unfortunately, as a stand-alone work, I really think it fell a little short on several fronts.
Was this perhaps just a bit too rushed? Possible, but it doesn’t really give that impression, as the sub-plots do have good depth and some nice twists.
Personally, I suspect this fell into a very unfortunate and very modern phenomena… Writing to a word limit.
Perhaps, more than anything, this story just needed the author to throw a little bit of caution to the wind, and just write what was needed to make this the story the work it needs to be.
Very, very good book. Worthy of the 4 stars it gets from me, but I really would have liked to give it much more.
These stories are more or less cyberpunk political thrillers. There's action and intrigue and espionage, there's also scheming and powermongering. I admittedly struggle a bit with all the corrupt politicians simply because those aspects aren't really my cup of tea, but the other elements make up for it. There's a certain simplicity about the writing in these books that make them quick, fun reads, but there's enough complexity that you're left wanting more and you find yourself drawn closer and closer to the characters the further you progress.
I went ahead and rated this book 4 stars, simply because I'm not sure if I enjoyed it quite as much as the original three, but revisiting all of these characters was still so much fun. Rath has grown on me with every book and continues to display intelligence and resourcefulness even when in adverse situations that don't require direct action. Paisen is cautious but still as badass as ever. It's neat to see her in a leadership position in this book, willingly working with others and having those people look up to her. Her bluntness and snark never fail to entertain me. Beauceron and Dasi have also both seem a lot of growth, but developments in Dasi's arc in particular has piqued my interest, and it will be cool to see how working with an AI changes her role. A few new characters are also introduced, some allies, some enemies, and some who leave us with many questions. Time will only tell where they fall on the spectrum.
Looking forward to the next installment!