Colonyside by Michael Mammay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This the third book of a series (Planetside and Spaceside). I got the first as an audiobook and the second as an ebook from my local library. I recommend reading these in order. I really enjoyed the performance of the audiobook, so go that route if you can.
The book is really more a mystery/noir-detective story, with most of the Sci-Fi taking a back seat (supporting role) to what is primarily a character driven plot. The world building is interesting and solid ... and so natural it is easy to miss; I think anyone with military experience would feel right at home with most of it (I was). There is a fair amount of grit in these stories, and any humor you can find trends dark (as would be expected); but the humor is there ... and it will grudgingly pull out a chuckle now and again for any who appreciates such.
It has been said that no plan survives first contact with the enemy ... and that really is the key to all of these stories. In this case, Col. Bulter (aka Detective Columbo in my head) is the agent of chaos that plays all kinds of Holy He!! on the careful plans of [politically] powerful bad guys. It takes real skill to create such unique POVs that are still relatable to the reader. Equally amazing is the fact that nearly everybody is reasonably competent and stays in their lane during the entire story. Everybody is hiding something and nobody is pure good/bad. What is even more interesting is that you get a glimpse at how the fall out negatively impacts the good guys (and to me was totally realistic). Bottomline ... this series made it to my favorites shelf.
"The last time you knew what I was going to tell you before I told you, we were in deep $#!+. Please tell me this is different." -- Ganos
I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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My Ratings Explained ...
- [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
- [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
- [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
- [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
- [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.