Posted by: Andy | December 27, 2007

Book review: Horizons

Hmm. What to say. Well, I definitely liked the book, and there must have been some decently done suspense type stuff, because I rushed through the last 30 or so pages last night.

But, overall it felt a little lacking. I can’t put my finger on exactly what – it felt a lot like a “first work”, and I didn’t see other credits for the author so it may be. Hmm, wait, I just wiki’d her, and she does have other published works, so that’s not it. What do I mean by feeling like a “first work”? I mean it could have really benefited from some editing in places.

I like the ideas here – they are, if not original – orbital space colonies struggling for independence, interesting in their execution – a peaceful struggle for independence (vs. the standard action-fighting sci-fi fare). The use of a future incarnation of internet forums is also moderately interesting, and quite plausible (think “being jacked into <city>.Craigslist.org”). The characters, well, there’s really only one fleshed character – the lead, Ahni. But she is interesting enough, although I found myself wondering how she could be so ignorant at many steps. Also, for being what she was (a high level empath in a very powerful political family), she seemed really naive and overconfident. But hey, maybe that was the intent.

The plot motion itself is another issue – in at least one place things are just too easy. I’m talking about the data dot here, which just happened to contain all the info they needed, and she just happened to notice on an item that just happened to fall out of her ex-lover’s clothing after it just happened to be stolen from her brother’s room that morning. It’s putting too many eggs in one coincidence, without really acknowledging how strange that is. The “love interest” also came way too quick (no pun intended). I was like “What? They just met??” I think we’re just supposed to assume that’s how things work in the future, but I had no sense of why they would be together other than “just because”.

Some parts of the narrative could have used a little flushing out as well. There were times when I’d read a paragraph and go “Huh? How did this end here?”, but I just didn’t care enough to go back and re-read it. It was confusing, but not particularly interesting – I mean I could still follow the plot, or rather be dragged along by it.

I’d say…3/5, nothing spectacular, but I would probably read something by this author again. Especially considering how much dreck is out there in the sci-fi world.

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Responses

  1. Okay, I was gonna say…how after that am I supposed to think it’s good. But then I reread and you actually said you liked it, not that it was good. So. That answers that.

  2. I think I just always sound harsh about stuff.

    I do think it was “good”, but it certainly wasn’t Ender’s Game or Eon or Foundations, etc.

  3. Well, I’ve liked things before that, upon specific analysis, wasn’t well executed but there was something about it that I liked, miniscule as it might be.


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