Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Anthem's Fall, by S.L. Dunn

Rating: 3/5
374 pages
Publisher: Prospect Hill Press
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Note: I read an ARC.

Description: Above a horrified New York City, genetics and ethics collide as the fallen emperor and a banished exile of the same herculean race ignite into battle over the city’s rooftops. In the streets below, a brilliant young scientist has discovered a technology that can defeat them both, yet might be more terrible than either.

Set both in modern New York City and in the technologically sophisticated yet politically savage world of Anthem, Anthem’s Fall unfurls into a plot where larger than life characters born with the prowess of gods are pitted against the shrewd brilliance of a familiar and unlikely heroine.
(from Goodreads)

Review: My biggest problem with this book really isn't it's fault, but it hit some issues I have with 9/11 pretty hard. The worst of these were a couple of scenes, one from the POV of a office worker, the other from the POV of person stuck in traffic, but the descriptions of falling buildings was also a problem for me.

However, those aren't my only problems. The first issue is pacing. It seems take a long time to introduce us to the aliens and their home world, Anthem. When we do get there, the introduction seems a bit rushed so we can get to the action. The humans, on the other hand, get a decent setup.

The first chapter seems like the author didn't reread it. As well as giving us the background for one of the main characters, we also have her interact with a couple of other people who show up again later. However, those later scenes treat the conversations in the first chapter as if they never happened.

I also had some issues with the aliens, not seeming quite alien enough in some areas. I understand that its impossible to really invent a completely new alien language, but there seemed to be too many Earth specific terms. The only ones that stand out in my memory are a planet called Orion, especially since the author went to the effort of renaming Earth (Though the new name ends in "gaia", so he could have done better there too.), and a character named Gravitas*. In case you didn't guess, he's the good guy.

There's also a revelation that I suspect was suppose to be a surprise, but if you read comics, or are just kind of familiar with them, it probably won't be.

Also, while I under that this is the first book in a series, but the ending still felt rather abrupt. Nothing really seems to have been resolved, or even heading towards being resolved.

Some of my problems with this book might be fixed between the ARC and the published version, but others probably won't be. It has potential, so I may see if I can find the second book, if I still remember it.

*This name isn't helped by the fact I'm currently reading through Iain Bank's Culture series, which has a running gag of ship names with Gravitas in them.

No comments:

Post a Comment