Sunday, 11 December 2016


Author: Jack McDonald Burnett
Genre: SciFi, Action, Adventure
Book Rating: 7
Personal Rating: 7

This one was hard to write I actually enjoyed reading it for a while thought it would be a five out of five.  But somewhere around the middle, I realised it was more that I was thinking about what could happen versus what was actually happening.  The story hit one note and sort of hung there with the promise of something big happening and then it didn't.

I will admit the slow pace actually wasn't a big deal for me.  The little spurts of action were fine.  The character foundations were laid well.  You knew who and what everyone was about.  After that, I was on such a high to get to the end and see where it was going that I kinda glossed over that fact that this was it.  The characters kept cycling through the same emotions without actually hitting some sort of goal.  This, of course, put me back in this state of enjoying what I perceived would happen and constantly waiting to see if I was right and then I was neither right or wrong.  No one seemed to come out worse or better in the end.  Just the same.  This was mostly the ending's fault.

The a-hah or the big finale that is the end of this book literally undoes everything.  It read as if the author just wanted you to think 'what if' and that that was the only purpose,  This became problematic because now what was the point of reading any of the other stuff with this ending?  No tragedy, no learning curve, no vindication no, win just 'oh okay'.  I literally read that last sentence of I believe the second to last chapter and thought no the author didn't.  The next page will totally not be what I think it is and, yes.  It sure was.   This unfortunately also made me realise that all of the character arcs I was expecting only lived in my mind.  They definitely weren't going to happen.  Not with this ending.

There's only one way I can really explain this.  This book was very cleverly crafted, everything happened when it should, and that was it.  Hit all the right notes of a good story without becoming amazing,  Like that cake that's perfect out the oven but the more time you have to consider it's excellence the more it folds in on itself and your experience becomes less amazing.  It's the perfect cookie. Smells delicious, looks amazing.  Taste good too, but then you take a bite of the cookie beside it that doesn't look so perfect but is by far the tastier cookie.  This book in, my opinion, is what happens when things are laid out just a little bit too well that the characters stayed in one place without the nuances needed to grow.  No ones 'why' for going on this mission stuck.  Even before the ending, the author managed to undo most characters original intentions for going accept for the architect of the mission.  Therefore I couldn't really attach to them and relied solely, like I've said, on this hope there'd be some epiphany in the end and also put full faith in the plot.  Both of which didn't deliver.

And lastly.  I still do not understand the history of this book.  How the years are calculated.  I get that it's like earth but not,  Still that isn't enough.  I kept trying to figure it out based on the vague details.  How magic came, and all sorts of things and it was hard to really get into this world when I simply couldn't guesstimate what time it was with the details given about the politics, wars, and events that happened in this alternate earth.

All in all for the first third of this book I was gearing towards a five-star review then after that I wasn't so sure, but it was the ending that ultimately sealed its fate.  Emotionally it was a let down cause the characters had nowhere to go, and technically it made the rest of the book appear as if the author made you read just to get to the end and be like 'what if'.  Make you ponder the situation of our earth in relation to this one. The only what if I was thinking is what if all this story and plot hadn't been undone with this one sentence.  Then maybe some more deep, inner point and a better resolve of all the set up would've lifted this book into something more spectacular instead of leaving with that sense of 'okay.  That was interesting I guess.'

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