My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Review: Olympus Prime: Return of the Titans

Olympus Prime: Return of the Titans Olympus Prime: Return of the Titans by J.R. Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a fun story which nominally recasts the clash between the original Titans and the new Olympian pantheon in Greek mythology as a struggle between galactic civilizations. What I found most enjoyable about this installment (part one of a series) was the 'realistic' detail given to both the starship armaments and their crew ... sure, there are points that require a bit of a stretch, but the interaction of the various military characters and tactics would be at home on any naval vessel that I have served on (quite unlike MOST Sci-Fi stories that I have encountered) earning the book an extra star and the gratitude of my dentist. Similarly ... The first contact / interaction with present day earth was well done, if perhaps a tad optimistic.

The book itself was well paced, with enough suspense to gently pull you through the whole story to a cliff-hanger ending; thankfully the main conflict was resolved and it appears that each installment will be able to stand on its own. There were few surprises in the story, which lacked a fair amount of intensity giving it more of a history book or clinical feel to it (especially in the beginning). I would have liked to see more grit when the story moved out of the more Spartan military settings (the potential power struggle on Olympus Prime could have been a story unto itself). Over all, the book is a quick, feel-good story that most will enjoy before fading from memory as it takes its place among other pleasant afternoons.

Finally, there were a few distracting editorial mistakes (where the wrong word spelled correctly appears), but not too bad.

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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.