- File Size: 2060 KB
- Print Length: 464 pages
- Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (May 21, 2013)
- Publication Date: May 21, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00CLVB9OC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,553 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$9.99|
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Reclamation Kindle Edition
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|Length: 464 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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My only gripe is with the lizard-like Shessel race. Although they are physically different enough from humans, psychologically and emotionally they might as well be humans in lizard suits. A very satisfying read, overall.
Reclamation is about a far-distant future in which mankind has lost its homeworld to the rebellion of biological constructs and splintered into several different political or religious organizations. Two of these are utterly dedicated to finding and reclaiming Earth: the Rhudolant Vitae and the Unifiers.
Our hero, Eric Born, was once a resident of a backwards, dying planet with a backwards, dying culture. He escaped, with the help of some smugglers, and has spent the last ten years trying to forget about his home world. But when the Rhudolant Vitae bring him in to communicate with a woman from that same world, Arla Stone, Eric becomes more involved than he has ever been. Together, they must save their homeworld.
The plot is, unfortunately, rather standard, and poorly constructed. There are several significant gaps, including one place where several chapters seem to be missing. There are also many places where Zettel appears to think she's communicated something to the reader, but it's unclear what that might be. On a personal level, I got rather tired of the "everyone betrays everyone on Sundays planet" aspect of things - much of the early part of the book is taken up with giving the reader a view of a specific character, then revealing in the next chapter that that view is incorrect, as the character is betraying [insert person or organization here]. However, most of the plot problems could be attributable to first novel syndrome, and I have every hope that Zettel will get the hang of tight plotting in her future novels.
I'm less sanguine about the problems in character development. Both of the main characters - Eric Born and Arla Stone - are much less than realistic, slaves to a plot that demands them to be first one thing, then another. One of the more ludicrous examples of characters-as-plot-slaves involves Arla's motivation. She leaves her planet voluntarily, hoping to better her children's lives. She at first is perfectly happy to remain in space, but three-quarters of the way in, she develops a sudden, overpowering urge to see her husband and children, even though she knows that her husband has most likely divorced her in her absence, which in her culture would mean that her children are also no longer hers. Nonetheless, she drags Eric through a dangerous procedure for returning home, forcing him to destroy his most valuable and important belonging - his ship. Arla gives Eric approximately four seconds to recover from the twin blows of losing his ship and returning to a home he hates, then charges ahead in search of her children. When she finds them, she hugs them, then hears that her husband is divorced and remarried. She immediately tells the kids 'I'm not your mother anymore, you need to go to your new mother now,' and walks away without a struggle or even much apparent regret.
It was very hard to like characters who acted so utterly nonsensically, and who behaved so irrationally. And the rest of the book - the plot, the background, the writing - was at best uninspired, which left the book as a whole a rather unrewarding read. Perhaps Zettel's future novels will be better. I certainly hope so.