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Similar: But Not the Same (Saga One) Paperback – January 1, 2014
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I can tell that the author has put some thought into her world. The setting and world building are unique and interesting and should appeal to sci-fi readers. The main characters, Dobi and Poppi, seem interesting. They start off faced with a choice: to visit a new world (our earth) or stay at home. Their choices and motivations are made clear and help me get to know them. The beginning does have a lot of exposition that I feel could have been presented in a more interesting, fluid way. I feel like the book could have used some more editing--not just grammar or spelling, but going through to polish exactly what you want to say, to make the prose more appealing and smooth.
Ms. Nation tells us on her blog that she attended a writer's group to get this book written. I'm delighted she pursued her passion and wrote her story, but she doesn't consistently follow grammar and punctuation rules, or most other rules for good sentence construction. She may know what the passive tense is, but just may not "get" why it's bad writing.
Yet I wanted to just keep reading because she deals with "First Contact" without war or the other sorts of horrifying complications so common in science fiction. The universe that produced the ahmans is basically a supportive place. In their first message to the Mars outpost, they say, "We are ahmans, we are one." Nation, that I can tell, does little to explore or explain this introductory claim of being one. Yet, since overwrought individuality seems like one of the most basic problem-causing influences on human life, moving toward oneness or at least harmony has great appeal.
One thing that didn't work for me was Nation's devoting the first 35 pages to the ahmans. I had to skip ahead to read about the human setup 300 years from now before I could care about decoding the aliens.