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

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Review: Generation Ship

Generation Ship Generation Ship by Michael Mammay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When we consider interstellar exploration, there are three general concepts that are typically used: Faster-Than-Light (FTL) travel (this would include such things as wormholes, gates, etc.); CryoStasis (basically sleep through the trip); and Generation Ships (everybody stays aware, has kids and trains up each generation until they get to their destination). This book obviously uses the last one. And while there is some good science here (gravity is from spin, etc.), it ignores enough to basically be a typically city in space civilization with a few nods toward expected limitations. One such limitation is a “Logan’s Run” style population control scheme that as the ship nears is ultimate destination, provide the spark that sets in motion the political dram that takes up the bulk of this story.

There are five (5) PoV: the Governor as the compromised politician trying to hold on to power at any cost, an uber hacker stuck in the maintenance division with no way out, a “farmer” reluctantly recruited as the rebel leader, an ambitious security officer maneuvering to get recognition for his awesomeness … and a senior scientist caught in the middle just trying to do the right thing … throw in a Captain who mostly stays off screen as an ultimate arbitrator (and mostly useless), a crime boss and a few hot headed rebels and security personnel and you get quite a mess (aka drama) that was fairly simple and predictable. The only one I found interesting was the hacker (Eddie). Frankly the total chaos of the ships contingent was more or less a copy of what you was expect in a small city and not something that would work very well for a long range colonization effort … which really makes this just a simple story in space (with a back drop of thousands of colonists represented by a handful of characters). Some of the action/interaction was pretty simple and at times bordering on ridiculous.

The arrival … arguably the most interesting part for me … was crammed into the last forth of the story and wasn’t very developed, making the ending fairly disappointing (and predicable, with most of the conflict here moving into the realm of fantasy). That makes for an entertaining story, but not much more than that.

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

#GenerationShip #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.