Top critical review
Enjoyable, but not good enough for a writer of Mr. Dalzelle's caliber
Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2016
I didn't want to write a review for this book because I admire and enjoy Joshua Dalzelle's work. However, I went back to this book last week while moving things and I was reminded once more of the predictability of the characters and the almost lazy character descriptions. The thing is Mr. Dalzelle has demonstrated his tremendous talent in Warship and his Black Fleet Trilogy. Reading the Omega books (I've only ready the first 2), it feels as if a different writer was at work.
The characters in Warship are not only superbly developed, but the author finds a way to make them unique even though they fall into well-used patterns: the raggedy crew and captain with a chip on his shoulder, etc… Mr. Dalzelle makes them unique by telling you their unique stories and thereby breaking the tired pattern. But most impressive of all is that the character development is masterfully interwoven in the story: it doesn’t slow down the story, it makes it more human and exciting because you’re pulling for these people.
I was disappointed to find none of this in Omega Rising. Omega is entertaining and some of it imaginative. But it is not at par with Mr. Dalzelle’s demonstrated abilities. Omega’s characters are too predictable and described in lazy fashion: a robot who wants to belong and is happy to have a “family”, a tough beast who can tear you from limb to limb, but hangs around grudgingly, with the team, a fit, young outcast from earth who is extremely earnest and good…. It’s more than a bit trite. And, again, so unlike Warship. It’s like we have 2 writers at work… Perhaps that’s it. Perhaps Mr. Dalzelle has chosen the Omega series for lazier writing that focuses on swift action and crime lords etc… While Black Fleet is for the finer writing? If so, I still found the action in the Black Fleet books more enjoyable and thrilling precisely because the characters were so deep and believable. This also made Warship more suspenseful.
Omega Rising is enjoyable, imaginative and full of action, but not written at the level of a writer like Mr. Dalzelle.