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Without Bloodshed (Starbreaker Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 296 pages||
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For example, I have no idea what the world is like post-Nationfall. Graybosch never bothered to explain this and there are many unanswered questions such as Who is Imaginos? What is the deal with the Executive Council? Who the heck are Amellech, Astoreth and Thagiron? What are asura simulators vs. devas? What the heck is up with CPMD other than to let the author express his liking of cats?
Back to something good. The author managed to make me look up several words/terms/concepts in wikipedia and dictionary.com while reading. This is good, this means the author challenges the reader. I urge him to keep doing this to stretch the reader a little bit.
I found the attempt at trying to mimic humanity lacking. The character building was poorly done. I hate the cardboard cutouts of Naomi and Morgan. And also the oversexualization of women in this novel. There's this myth that women control men through sex and several women such as astoreth, claire and Thagirion (I can't spell her name) do this, as if their only power lies in what they can give men. There were also several times that women in the book conceded power to men, such as when Naomi was fighting against Thistlewood and Morgan ex deus machina style came to save her at the nick of time, and also when Thagirion was fighting Imaginos…and conceded to his power and then submitted to him sexually. Also the author falls into the trap of only being able to describe women in sexual terms, such as Thagirion's milky white back and her cascading hair. Does he do that with the men? No, so it's clearly meant to sexualize women. Is it necessary? No. It's sometimes funny how sexism works subtlely in works of fiction, perhaps even unawares to the authors themselves.
The author comes close to the complex political manuvering of G.R.R. Martin's Westeros, but doesn't quite hit the mark. This is a shame really because there is a lot of political maneuvering, hidden motives and actions going on behind the curtains so it could become like this, but not unless more worldbuilding, research and character building (to emphasize individuation between characters) is done.
Another strength of the author's is that he is skilled at sex scenes. he accurately employs the senses of the readers.
Overall I remain unsure of whether I would like to read the prequel to this novel or the sequel. The novel seemed to hover too close to cliches for my liking, and yet the storyline is very interesting. I may pick up another book of his. We'll see.
In anycase Graybosch deserves to be more well known despite his faults because he is much better than other popular novelists I've read. I'd give him a chance if I were you despite my gripes and reservations. The elements held within this novel are original and fresh. It's the kind of book that'll leave you thinking long after you've closed it. And me? Well, I just think I'm a picky eater when it comes to books myself. So, give it a chance and then make your mind up for yourself.
Morgan, the main male character, didn't seem real at all. He seemed to be some kind of super-human person who could outfight anyone and was some kind of cop/assassin type of person, yet he also played in a band that traveled the world (with beautiful women, of course). He seemed more caught up in being in the band than in saving the world, yet he was the best ever that everybody turned to when the chips were down. Sorry, but I did not buy into that character at all.
Many of the key character names seemed like such a jumbled mess of letters and syllables and were so unusual that I had trouble sounding them out to where I'd recognize them next time, and so many of them sounded similar that I couldn't keep them straight. The characters themselves didn't seem real to me, and the world left me totally confused and full of contradictions. It took place way in the future where they used firearms, yet everybody's personal weapon of choice seemed to be a sword. Why on earth would you rely on a sword when you could use a rifle or pistol? And the only rifles seemed to be bolt-action rifles, with semi/full auto being looked down on, yet people carried 'semi-auto' pistols. That didn't make sense.
For some reason there seems to be magic in the world of the future but not everybody uses it. Some people could teleport and nobody seemed surprised by it, yet they were upset the person got in their homes without being invited. A man was put in jail, but as soon as he was alone somebody teleported in and killed him. Why would the police not think of that happening and guard against it? Why even have locks on your doors?
The women seemed to be mainly for sex. They were all exceedingly beautiful and sexy and automatically used sex to get what they wanted, while the bad men lusted after them and tried to abuse them. Even most of the good guys seemed sex-mad. I got the impression they're obsessed with sex in the future.
The AI things in people's heads were never explained, that I could see. Everybody just seemed to have this computer person they could talk to and discuss things with like they were real people, and some even worried their computer AI would get in trouble so they used their own skills to do illegal things. That was way too confusing for me.
Sorry to the author, but I had high hopes for this story and was disappointed. If you like challenging stories that confuse simple minded people like me then you may like this one. It did seem to be well edited, at least.