01/01/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Orbit. 393 page paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-429-6.
check out website: www.orbitbooks.net and www.mariannedepierres.com
The more books I read, the more I'm appreciating having a brief synopsis reminding me to the events of the past book to get me in gear for the latest volume. You don't just sit around twiddling your thumbs waiting for the latest book in a series to arrive but read other books in the meantime. Being brought up to speed is both important to the established reader and the new reader.
To this one must also add that the events in this book have little bearing in what happened before. So maybe the only person losing out is the new reader joining with book 2. as the previous book gets chucked out the window completely. Perhaps not knowing what happened previously would be all right if you were jumping in, say, three or four books down the line, but not with the second book.
If anything, I ended up reading 'Chaos Space' in a somewhat dithered state, wondering just what it has to do with 'Dark Space' where we left the Spanish senoretta Mira Fedor fleeing her home world to get urgent help for her people. Things are not so clear cut with this book and even with the back cover telling me something about what is going on, I'm sad to report that I was finding it made less sense as I continued. Even Mira's presence seemed to get side-tracked. I'm hoping there will be a synopsis with the third book in this series to explain it to me.
Going purely from putting everything together with the backcover, people are after Mira Fedor for Insignia, her sentient spaceship, while she is using to look for help for her beleaguered people. Other characters are interested both in her and some previous mineral alloy.
With such a strong opening book, it's a shame that none of the characters here struck me as likeable even to the point of figuring what they were about. The viewpoints changed periodically but the purpose elusive. It might need a second read to understand but not to the level this book has gone. You tend to re-read books to enjoy the pleasure and look for another depth, not to find out if it has one in the first place.
I'm hoping this is just me and not De Pierres regular fans and all I can suggest is read with caution.
Add SFcrowsnest.com daily news updates to your own web site or blog - just cut and paste the code below...
Stephen Hunt's novels - USA