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, August 3, 2023

Review: The Descendants of Prontoth: Galactic Civilizations, Book 2

The Descendants of Prontoth: Galactic Civilizations, Book 2 The Descendants of Prontoth: Galactic Civilizations, Book 2 by Mark Raines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Performance: ****
Story: ***

A Predictable Military Space Opera with Good Narration

This is the second of the Galactic Civilizations series following Felan's Rescue (which I have not read).  The story revolves around two factions of an urmahlullu ("lion man") like alien race (aka Timions) where the dominate take no prisoners authoritarian government (aka High Command) is trying to exterminate the radical Descendants of Prontoth for having the temerity to surrender instead of dying to the last man during a civil war some 800 years ago.  These same descendant were apparently introduced in the first book, but so far I am not seeing anything that creates any need to read the first story to understand what is going on here (with the possible exception of a galactic war where the Descendants played a pivotal role).  Regardless, there are still fault lines between the seven (7) galactic civilizations that the Timion High Command attempts to leverage in their never ending quest for vengeance (which is actually just a weird justification for what boils don’t to an irrational hatred of deviants).

The story pretty much develops as expected, with a healthy amount of simple intrigue and space combat.  Here is where the solid narration saves the day and makes it all more interesting than it otherwise would be leaving only  few nits to pick.  The obviously manufactured plot conflict is not really that compelling.  World Building is primarily done via descriptive text info dumps.  There are a few time jumps that were difficult to identify and caused some confusion for a time. There is absolutely no character development and few opportunities to connect with any of the character.  Perhaps the most irritating for me is the constant/frequent use of the entire title of the Descendants of Prontoth every single time they are referred to.  Would it kill you to consider an acronym or just using the term descendants instead?

I was given this free advance review/listener copy (ARC) audiobook 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.