01/02/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
Transformation Space (The Sentients Of Orion book 4) by Marianne de Pierres. pub: Orbit. 394 page paperback. Price: GBP 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-759-4) .
check out websites: www.orbitbooks.net and www.mariannedepierres.com
‘Transformation Space’, the fourth and last book in Marianne de Pierres ‘The Sentients Of Orion’ series still leaves me no wiser. Experienced reading tends to tell me that the pace of a story is off if I read it too fast and the obvious sign here is that there’s far more dialogue than text and the brain simply does not take it all in. Yes, I read it. Did it make much sense? No. It’s not helped that when people die, there is no emotional impact on the characters over their deaths. If they don’t care, it makes it difficult for me to do so as well. If all four books had been in this vein, I would at least have said there was some consistency. However, the first book, ‘Dark Space’, was a nicely set-up book on a planet where Spanish-like customs were upheld in the future and its lead character, Mira Fedor, was forced to flee after the planet had been taken over.
All of this and the fact that Mira was supposed to return with help is sadly forgotten and there is only a reference to the planet’s people’s fate half-way through this final book. Mira seems more concerned about her new-born baby and her communication with her sentient spaceship. I should also point out that each unnumbered chapter rapidly switches to the perspective of different characters, not all of whom are present to the others. If it wasn’t for the title headings, they were also mostly interchangeable with little depth into their individual motivations to tell them apart.
I probably learnt more about the conspiracy from the back of the book than the content doesn’t help matters much neither. It would have made some sense to know just who the actual enemy is in all of this but little is revealed as to whom they are fighting against. It’s almost as thought de Pierres suddenly realised she was writing space opera but wanted to be more profound and the two types didn’t mesh together. If she had re-enforced the space opera aspect with a profound element, she might well have gotten away with it but to totally change from such a promising start makes little sense.
I’m loathed to give poor reviews of this nature so can only hope that de Pierres learns something from this series in her future books as to what she really wants to write about.
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