Author: John Scalzi
Rating: 4 Stars
Review By: Shana
I like Scalzi's work best when he is world-building and has a sweeping story to tell (so I like his Old Man's War series better than his satire or one-off books). This novel begins a new series where humanity has spread out through space via worm-whole like “Flows” and are interdependent and under the rule of an Emperor. The book plunges right into action and keeps the pace up throughout, jumping from one point of view character to another, and working to build the political intrigues of a far-flung empire.
The book has snappy dialog (though if you are squeamish about strong language or sex, this is likely not for you), likable (if simplistic) characters, and a good dose of humor. It lacks a real feel of gravitas – this is no Dune, and the machinations of the various Guild houses are mostly tame when compared to the great Houses in Herbert’s series. This is not necessarily bad, the book reads like something readily translatable to TV and is smart enough to be interesting, but won't seriously tax a reader. I look forward to continuing the series, even if some of the twists are a bit predictable and the characters a bit underdeveloped.
My love of reading was sparked in 3rd grade by the promise of personal pan pizzas via the BOOK IT! Program. Hmmmm... any chance that someone might give adults free food for reading? Asking for a friend...