Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
the stars now unclaimed (Drew Williams)
Title: the stars now unclaimed
Author: Drew Williams
Publication Date: TODAY!! (hardback/ebook)
Well mateys. I have to admit that this was just an okay read. One of me crew, Sarah @ theillustratedpage’s review, accurately described it as:
“The majority of The Stars Now Unclaimed is action scenes. I really can’t emphasize how much of this book is action. You mainly get a few paragraphs or pages between various huge action set pieces, which doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for anything other than action. It was a bit like a Hollywood blockbuster in book form.”
Hollywood action film indeed. The characters are fun. Ye have the hardened snarky daredevil female fighter pilot, an analytical robot, the ship AI, and the rescued orphan girl with telekinetic powers who might one day save the world. Later ye add in the traitor who happens to be the soldier’s ex-lover and the spy. But while I liked them, there is very little depth to any of them. The dialogue is full of catchy one-liners but nothing of major substance. The bad guys are all literally interchangeable faceless guys in suits with no names, no real intellectual reasoning, and no goals other than to take over the universe.
The science-fiction part is also Hollywood-lite. There was a “pulse” which was a science experiment gone wrong. It knocked out the technology in the universe with very little rhyme or reason. Some places keep their technology and other places have gone back into the stone age. The threat of the pulse is still out there and it’s gonna come back. There is no real explanation for how it works. The main characters says things like “I can’t walk you through it all that well, I’m not a – I don’t do science – ” and “do I look like I’m wearing a lab coat? I know what the scientists tell me . . .” The use of the technology doesn’t really make sense either. Things work or don’t work depending on what the author needed to happen to forward the plot. Logic doesn’t really suffice.
Actually that was me major problem with this read – the sheer unbelievably of the plot in general. There are the many, many lucky coincidences that happen throughout. There is the last-ditch, one-chance effort against all costs. There is the main character who is charmed and somehow evades death at every possibility – despite poison, bullets, overwhelming legions of enemies, and everything but the kitchen sink. The battle is saved through the actions of a single person. Remove the main character and the universe is doomed.
Me most recent science fiction reads have had depth of character, plot, and world-building. In comparison, this be a pleasant, if forgettable read. I will not be reading any more of the series. I might have enjoyed it more in movie format.
So lastly . . .
Thank you Macmillian-Tor/Forge!
Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel:
Jane Kamali is an agent for the Justified. Her mission: to recruit children with miraculous gifts in the hope that they might prevent the Pulse from once again sending countless worlds back to the dark ages.
Hot on her trail is the Pax–a collection of fascist zealots who believe they are the rightful rulers of the galaxy and who remain untouched by the Pulse.
Now Jane, a handful of comrades from her past, and a telekinetic girl called Esa must fight their way through a galaxy full of dangerous conflicts, remnants of ancient technology, and other hidden dangers.
And that’s just the beginning . . .
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