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, January 12, 2023

Review: The Impossible [Trilogy]

The Impossible Book 2

A short (just under 4 hrs) audiobook that introduces the space pirate crew of the Impossible and its captain (St Rita of impossible causes). This is the first part of a trilogy that probably should all be combined into a 12 hr omnibus. While the narration is decent, the story is a fairly formulaic, character driven story about childhood friends now on opposites sides (pirate vs government). From that perspective, it was also a decent story and the main characters were fairly sympathetic; however, the details are poorly researched and tend to rub against the grain a lot (aka poor world building) … for example … in a “dog fight” between a “battleship” and a two person “speeder” the battleship pilot is able to read the uniform patch of the speeder pilot? Once or twice you can sorta just let it go, but there were so many occasions of WTF that it was difficult to stay in the story. There are a few surprises that keep the story interesting enough to stay the course as casual entertainment.

The is the second [very short] installment of The Impossible Trilogy in what really should have been a single story; and this installment was a great example of why. It picks up where the story ends (not really a cliff hanger so much as a change of venue) and continues a little ways to the next cliff (where the story just ends because … there is another change of location). That is irritating on its own, but this part of the story didn’t really do much outside of introducing the protagonists family while continuing the love hate relationship of the MC besties. With no discernible plot, the cons for this story are a lot more noticeable … there is a complete lack of any male characters outside of bit parts for obvious set pieces. There is a complete lack of any understanding of scale where the only difference between a camp, a city, a planet, a star and a galaxy are really just words. All in all, even if you don’t really care much about realism, this was still a tough slog and only worth a read if you head on to the final book of the trilogy.

The Impossible Book 2 by Alexandria Clarke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The final installment of The Impossible trilogy where our dynamic duo of besties make their way to the rebel camp/high school where we finally get to the big reveal of the entire point of the 3 books. All previously noted problems with the series remain; however, if you are here for the drama, you are in the right place. The story unfolds in a fairly predictable manner ... until you finally get to the hero's end (after completely ignoring the rebel context in favor of an obstructionist element to just pass the time). Ultimately I am sure this series will work for some, but the lack of any realistic world building and/or consistant context was definitely an issue for me, so despite the descent narration, the overall score for this and the entire series remains at a 3 (rounded up) and therefore recommended for casual entertainment when you find yourself bored and looking for a distraction.

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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.