Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 6, 2014
I started reading this from good recommendations and got about a third through the first book before I couldn't stand it anymore. A few things bothered me that eventually became too much for me to ignore.

First, as other reviewers have stated, the dialog is bad. Let me elaborate. The thing that specifically bothered me is that this is military fiction, wherein all the characters are soldiers in a fleet. One would expect the characters to speak as though they were in the military. Instead, they talk as though they're in a crappy soap opera. The captain of the fleet's flagship, Dauntless, speaks with so little confidence that I have to stretch my disbelief to the limits to think that someone like her could actually be a captain. It isn't just her though. Very few of the characters are written to accurately match their rank or position.

The second problem with the book, which ultimately made me abandon it, is the painfully obvious decisions that have to be made, and the completely bewildering opposition to these decisions, solely to create a sense of tension or conflict. Within the first fifty pages or so, the captains of all the ships need to make a decision. The protagonist gives the only possible solution that would not result in the entire fleet being massacred. It's a solution so obvious that it makes absolutely no sense why the antagonists would allow that solution to even be an option, except for the fact that it leaves the author somewhere to take the narrative. I ignored this and went on with the story, hoping it would improve.

A short time later, the fleet is left with a fork in the road. There are three directions to choose from. The first would get them to their destination the fastest but would have a 100% certainty of the enemy being there to ambush them, resulting in a complete annihilation. The second path was described in a way that it was obviously a poor choice. The third path would take longer than the first path and had some benefits to it, one of which being that the enemy wouldn't be able to ambush them. Using his unconventional wisdom, the protagonist chooses the only path that makes any amount of sense. When the person he was discussing this with started to argue for the first path, despite having all the same knowledge about being ambushed and facing certain death, I put the book down.

I think I have to watch Idiocracy now. If I'm going to be entertained by people making bad decisions, I want those people to be idiots, not captains of military vessels.
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