Twilight Wars: Empire Falling: A Twilight Imperium Novel by Robbie MacNiven
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A galaxy spanning space opera where two civilizations, the Sol Federal (that’s us if that was not obvious) and the Letnev (a militant species that is perpetually trying to throw off the oppressive hegemony of the imperial Lazax) go head to head in a stunning invasion and blockade of a new Sol Federation colony. Out gunned and on their own, the colony leaders attempt to prevent their complete annihilation by the Letnev invaders as the slow wheels of imperial politics struggles to even take notice of the conflict between their client civilizations. So after an exciting start, the story settles into back room deals, betrayal and political intrigue until everything inevitably explodes two thirds in … with the final Part III picking up after nearly a century of conflict.
Unfortunately there is a second story imbedded within the main arc that didn’t really contribute much to the main plot (outside of a secondary conflict between Arr and Tol … and a second interspecies war). While this part was still interesting, switching back and forth made the whole feel choppy and easy to put down. And while Part III brings the stories together, it also gives us an entirely different conflict resolution than what was introduced in the beginning. Ultimately this would have been three (stories), but there is simply not enough there to make three novels. Ultimately this gives us an decent story, but not interesting enough to make any sequels a must read. In other words … it was fun, but forgettable.
I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook 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.