This review may contain some spoilers.
Jeff Faria’s sweeping space opera is bursting at the seams with living and breathing characters, crackling dialogue, exciting technology, and a plausible, daring futuristic setting.
The strength of the work lies in its relentless world building, with every nook and cranny carefully considered. From the corporate higher tiers, to the dark underbelly. From the polished bot slaves to the wayward teenagers forging their destinies in the dirt. It’s clear that the author has patiently developed the finer points of this universe, right down to the tiniest grain of martian sand.
The story begins with Josh, a gifted teenager struggling to find his place in this universe. However, the tale quickly branches off to incorporate world founders, antagonists and movers and shakers. As a result of the sheer scope, the story feels a little unfocused in the beginning stages, but it finds ground again when we’re thrust back into Josh’s world.
We learn early on of Josh’s difficult upbringing and understand his struggle to find meaning and purpose in a chaotic world. Yet amid such a great ocean of characters, Josh can often become lost in the waves, so it’s always good to find him again. This reader would have enjoyed more time spent with this important character, and a chance to get closer inside his head.
Faria is a talented writer; the book is packed full of memorable quotes, and his dialogue sparkles with believability and intensity. At times, the pace slows as Faria handles the unenviable task of juggling world building and plot building. I can’t help feeling that the book could do with being a deal shorter, thereby increasing the pace.
Much of the story is dialogue driven, and the pages fly by with the snappy, sometimes hilarious back and forth between characters. However, the action really ramps up towards the finale, with a well-earned conclusion.
The writing style is seasoned but welcoming, and there were little to no typos to be found. This is a strong science fiction. Well written with memorable imagery, concepts, and lessons.
* Excellent writing
* More focus on fewer characters can only improve this great book.