Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
forsaken skies (D. Nolan Clark)
Title: forsaken skies
Author: D. Nolan Clark
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication Date: TODAY! (paperback)
I wanted to like this novel. I really did. But I just could not finish it and had to abandon ship. The ideas were awesome. The characters were fun. The writing style was great. The execution of it all – not so much.
The premise is great. Aliens are coming to attack a small planet that no one cares about. A small group of rag-tag pilots is determined to fight despite the impossible odds. The trope is common for a space opera but how it was set up was exciting.
I adored the way the book began. A pilot, Aleister Lanoe, is in pursuit of another runaway pilot who is wanted for murder. The chase involves almost crashing into a space hub and other craziness. How this resolves was fricken awesome. If only the remainder of what I read could have been that well done.
The characters were lovely. My favorites:
Aleister Lanoe – pilot, war hero, crafty planner, the leader
Tannis Valk – pilot, air traffic controller, super smart, quirky guy whose story made me want to finish the book, oh and was the enemy of Lanoe in the previous war
Ensign Caroline Ehta – pilot, lovely strong powerful woman, made mistakes but keeps on going
Bettina Zhang – pilot, former second-in-command for Lanoe, the ideas behind some of the space technology she used were unique
Aspirant Roan – young girl from beleaguered planet, impressionable, seemingly strong core, fun
The worldbuilding was well done. I thought the military aspects of the novel were particularly nice. I liked all the different types of ships, the structure of how the navy was used, the technology of the space suits, etc. The author seemed to have spent a lot of time developing the world and its backstory. The politics present were not overwhelming but did add a nice patina to the overall story.
Okay so far wonderful. The problem then? Pacing. So so so slow. Despite all the good things in the novel, it was just a slog. I was fighting through every page. The concepts made me happy. The execution did not. The action sequences were great. The stuff around them not so much. The potential of the story is there, I just wish it had been trimmed. A lot.
With so many books on the horizon, I just gave up. I want me reading to make time seem to disappear, not to accentuate every second passing. I am sad, but I couldn’t fight the tide.
If ye want to read another take on this novel that is more in depth, check out this review by drew @ TheTattooed Book Geek.
Side Note: D. Nolan Clark is a pseudonym for an acclaimed author who has previously published several novels in different genres. I wonder who it is!
So lastly . . .
Thank you Orbit Books!
The publisher’s website has this to say about the novel:
Sometimes the few must stand against the many.
From the dark, cold void came an unknown force.
Their target a remote planet, the home for a group of people distancing themselves from mankind and pursuing a path of piety and peace.
If they have any chance at survival a disparate group of pilots must come together to fight back any way they can.
But the best these aces can do might not be good enough.
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