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, December 29, 2022

Review: The Scourge Between Stars

The Scourge Between Stars The Scourge Between Stars by Ness Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A quick read (novella) sets up a scenario not often explored in SciFi … What happens when your attempt to colonize a world fails? What happens when all hope is lost because your generation ships are nearly crippled and you don’t have the resources to make it home? When random “engagements” of some mysterious force slam into the ship to wreck havoc on critical systems, the dwindling resources seem like a problem for the future.  Maybe they should go back, but no-one remembers why the original colony failed … and they apparently didn’t completely escape when mounting evidence points to an unknown intruder that is hunting the crew.  If they are to survive, it is time for a bug hunt … if only the colonists can put their mutiny on hold for awhile.  

At this point it is difficult to avoid a reference to the Aliens franchise (of which I am a casual fan) … except this was done so much better (at first).  The action picks up about half way through and runs all the way to the end; which along with the shortness of the story and underdeveloped characters/monsters, is the only one I have to pick on this story … which was too rushed and dips into fantasy after what was a solid SciFi adventure.  Perhaps the author can flesh out the story into a full novel in the future to put these minor issues to bed ....

I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#TheScourgeBetweenStars #NetGalley.

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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.