Saturday, May 9, 2015

Review: mini-reviews for Dark Eden, The Crimon Campaign, and The Autumn Republic

Dark Eden is set on a world with no sun, a rogue planet.  Over a century ago, an exploration team left two people, a man and a woman behind, and now their descendants still await a rescue team from Earth, living among the warmth and light of the native trees until one boy dares to strike out into the unknown.

This is a very bold novel, with a ton of ideas and an incredibly unique setting.  I wish more current authors would take risks like this working out the mechanics of the biology and the society of such a place.  The writing style takes a little getting used to.  Plus, I had a problem with the characterization, though I can't put my finger on why. 

Rating: 8/10.
This is the sequel to 2013's Promise of Blood.  I gave that book a 7.5 rating because while it started off strong, it got bogged down in stereotypical fantasy battle-stuff by the end.  This book gets the same rating though for a different reason. 

The plotting and tone are much smoother and better handled this time.  Tamas' sequence of retreat through enemy country is particularly well done.  The negative part is in the characterization, or more accurately, the character interactions.  Characters seem to butt heads merely for dramatic and plot purposes than for genuine reasons.  Still, it was a fun and gripping read.

Rating: 7.5/10.
I rarely read sequels back to back, but this I decided to read The Autumn Republic right after The Crimson Campaign.  The big problem this time was plotting as it felt like part of this book should have been merged with a condensed version of the second book and then the plot in Adopest expanded.  There is a lot that could have been done just with the elections and the character of Claremonte.  Plus, as someone else said there is the feeling that weaknesses you put up with in the first two books are less forgivable by this point.  It would have been nice to get a much broader look at the world than the author gives us as some things were clearly important, but were not shown.  That being said, for all their flaws these books were certainly exciting reads and Brian McClellan is most definitely an author to keep an eye on.

Rating: 7.5/10.


Peadar said...

I was a big fan of Dark Eden for similar reasons to yourself. Bold. Different. In my opinion, these are precisely the qualities that ought to win a Hugo.

Benjamin said...