Originally posted on 08 Jan 2023

1 minute read

Last year I read and enjoyed Tchaikovsky’s Elder Race, so I was looking forward to trying another one of his books. That didn’t work out as well as I was expecting.

From the very start, this book put me off. It begins in the middle of some action, so I honestly thought my ebook file had dropped some chapters or that the book was a sequel. I had to look it up on the internet to confirm that neither was the case; the author drops the reader in media res, with background dribbled out across the subsequent chapters. It was disorienting and not enjoyable for me.

I also did not enjoy any of the characters. Most of them were fairly reprehensible people, in their own unique ways. I couldn’t bring myself to care whether they made it through the book alive, and spent most of the book wanting to reach into the story and slap each of them for being some flavour of fool, then reach through the internet to ask the author to rely on fewer sterotypes and tropes.

Even the ending was disappointing, as it had been pretty obviously telegraphed through half of the book. There were some amusing lines and situations during the finale, but frankly the best part of it all was that it signified that I was nearly done with this book and could move on to something I might enjoy more.