threemonkeys: (Waxlion)
The first book in a space opera series. So, lets see there is a galactic spanning civilisation, post human intelligence with everybody being very long lived. There is some mysterious very powerful race which seems to be doing people harm and who may have been responsible for catastrophe. Humans doing the same thing too. There is mystery all around. A small group of highly resourceful people are battling to figure out what is happening and save their skins while doing it - a group who are obviously going to become big players in the restoration of order. It is all entertainingly written - fun with a few clever little jokes mixed in. But not deep - written to entertain not to enlighten. Of course it is a Sean Williams book. Saturn Returns to be specific about it.

About the only fundamental difference I can see between this and the first books of his previous space opera series is that Shane Dix's name isn't on the title page. Perhaps the tone is a tiny bit lighter but that is it. I should say the story is quite a bit different to the previous ones but that is just the window dressing - the fundamental mode of entertainment remains the same. Another thing to note is that the first volume in all these series, including this one, is exposition heavy. There is some action but a lot is about building the universe and the characters. Interesting that I always enjoy these first volumes more than the action laden subsequent ones. Not sure if that says something about the author's strengths and weaknesses or if it just reflects my preferences. Good fun either way.

Cough

Jan. 3rd, 2006 07:01 pm
threemonkeys: (getoffyourass)
At our xmas family get-together, my cousin's baby daughter had a cold. It seems that the incubation period is about a week because I have been suffering from a cold for the last day or so. I'm not the only one - reports are that many members of the family are suffering from it too. So I'm ingesting as many of the appropriate pharmaceuticals as is safe and keeping myself out of the way reading and watching cricket. *cough splutter*

I figured that I wouldn't want anything too heavy to read through my cold befuddled brain, so the book I selected was Geodesica Ascent by Sean Williams and Shane Dix. It is formula writing. What these guys write is to space opera what big fat quest trilogies are to epic fantasy. Sean is quite open about this aspect of his writing being aimed at satisfying his audience rather than any higher artistic ideals. He has a living to make after all. I have no problem with this approach as long as the author is open about it - and lets face it, most commercially successful authors compromise their ideals to some extent or another. *sniff* For the most part however, I am not too impressed with the outcome of such blatantly commercial writing - it just seems to lack something. Having said that I do enjoy the Williams and Dix work.

This book is the first in a new series. Much like previous series, it deals with human and posthumans dealing with an alien artefact and the conflict which arises around it. Beyond that it does not seem worth adding anything. You either like this kind of thing or you don't. If you do, then no thing different here. If you don't then no reason to try this one.
*cough cough*

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