Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-25-2016, 11:39 AM   #1
GlenBarrington
Cheese Whiz
GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
GlenBarrington's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,100
Karma: 3672285
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Device: Lenovo A10-70 Samsung Galaxy S5, 1st Gen Kindle Fire
The Star Cross by Raymond Weil

Originally posted on Amazon, but the following has some variations. I might add some of the variations to the Amazon review at some point

It's an entertaining 'space opera'. It's reasonably well written, and while the characters are a bit two dimensional, the ratio of action to dialog keeps one from thinking too much about the characters. And it avoids one of my personal pet peeves with this genre. The author doesn't use that silly affectation of calling the Earth "Terra". Does ANYONE think that in the next 500 years or so, that the people of this world will start suddenly calling the planet "Terra"?

Will I follow this series? Probably, yes. Certainly I'll read the next book in series and we'll see how it goes after that. I am a sucker for space opera. I'm still 11 years old at heart.

However as science fiction, I have a few problems with it. First of all the plot tries to be somewhat reminiscent of America's 'war' with the Barbary Pirates in the early 19th century, and even the characters sort of point to it in the book. That's OK, as it stands, but I don't think the author made a strong enough case for the parallel.

Then is the problem of slavery. I don't see how an advanced technological space faring race can economically justify slavery when machines can do the work of slaves faster better and cheaper. The author acknowledges this a bit by saying the women go to pleasure houses while the men go to mines and agriculture. But mines and agriculture? Really, most of the the men would likely just be killed.

Certainly, there would be a few people decadent enough and wealthy enough to want to have human slaves, but certainly, the number of people the 'bad guys' intend to take from earth would surely create economic havoc in a slave driven economy.

As it stands, the bad guys are cardboard bad guys and convenient plot foils.

The second issue I have a problem with is the position of women in this futuristic Earth (basically American) society. It's closer to the 1960s than it is to 2016. There is a nod to modernity in gender relations in that there are a few women in the fleet, and their gender is mentioned, but for the most part they remain guys with girl names as far as their characterization goes.

Mostly the women are contented housekeepers and moms. There is no explanation of how it got this way or any hint of any mental conflict of the women (or of the men) in what this is doing to the culture. Be advised, I would have no problem with this characterization of women if it were logically explained. It's the lack of an explanation that is the problem.

Then there is the issue of how many free HUMANS exist in the bad guy culture. Weil attempts to address this by having a pretty 'bad guy' human doctor speculate on why, by saying some turn to religion, while other turn to the equivalent of ancient astronauts.

Also, Earth has a clear record of human evolution on Earth, yet Earth remained, until the opening of the book unknown by the bad guy culture and the existence of the bad guys unknown by Earth's people. How does this get reconciled?

None of this is a deal breaker in my mind, especially if you are just looking for a shoot-em-up. But I do think they need to be addressed sooner rather than later if the author would like to transcend the genre. I believe the author is talented enough, the question is does he want that? Some authors are content to churn out pot boilers, that's ok I guess, but some of us want more "Thinky" space opera.

This is the first book, and the second is now available. There is time for the author to start addressing these issues I think, without rendering the first two books irrelevant (I haven't read the second book yet, maybe he makes a start at this in some way)

The truth is, both Christopher Nuttall and Ryk Brown manage to incorporate interesting ideas into their space opera novels and even explore them a bit without getting in the way of the adventure and action. The Star Cross books will remain on my "To Be Read" list, but they are at constant risk of being temporarily bumped for something more thoughtful.

Last edited by GlenBarrington; 08-25-2016 at 11:45 AM.
GlenBarrington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2016, 08:08 PM   #2
GlenBarrington
Cheese Whiz
GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
GlenBarrington's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,100
Karma: 3672285
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Device: Lenovo A10-70 Samsung Galaxy S5, 1st Gen Kindle Fire
I finished Book Two called "Star Cross, The Dark Invaders". And I'm pleased to say this novel is beginning to address some of my concerns. We are starting to see some of the bad guys from book one as real people, and are beginning to see a larger, more ominous pattern emerging that stretches back many millions of years. In general, I think it is a better book than volume one, and I enjoyed it more.

There is a sub plot that makes us consider the possibility of "how do we integrate a significant number of people from the bad guy's culture into our own, without compromising our own culture?" I found this an interesting idea, and one many parts of our current world are dealing with today.

The second volume doesn't really address the odd domesticity of Earth women, though they do seem a bit less passive than they did in the first book. So I don't know if this is just some sort of social/cultural blind spot on the part of the author or some clever plot twist he has yet to reveal.

On the whole, I found the book a lot more satisfying than the first book.
GlenBarrington is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lone Star Statements (one-star Amazon reviews) GrannyGrump General Discussions 14 10-10-2013 03:48 AM
Use 10 star rating instead of 5 star _c_ Calibre 2 06-26-2013 03:04 PM
Other Fiction Weil, Gustav: Tausendundeine Nacht Eriwan ePub Books 0 09-19-2011 12:34 PM
I, Alex Cross Treven Reading Recommendations 10 04-11-2010 09:12 AM
Star Trek vs. Star Wars daffy4u Lounge 48 12-04-2008 10:06 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:54 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.