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, March 1, 2022

Review: Biomass Rewind

Biomass Rewind Biomass Rewind by Terry Persun
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved the premise of this book: Human Colony ships controlled by an AI that manufactures and programs “human” colonists from the recycled biomass of previous colonists, mixing and matching parts until it gets the behaviors and results that it is looking for (sort of like a sci-fi groundhog day). At the end of each chapter, you get a short vignette from the AI about what it has learned from all of this and maybe a clouded preview of what it is trying to do. All of this raises some interesting philosophical and theological questions to ponder (Are we really just a product of our chemical/electrical/biological programming) … 

There were a few nits to pick … such as how only 6 human mating pairs would be able to actually colonize a world with the obvious issues of genetic diversity … in that respect, the story shares a bit of the surreal impression found in the HBO series Raised by Wolves. There is also a deep mystery to solve as the colonists struggle to succeed and avoid being “recycled” by the mother ship, so it is a slow, methodical and somewhat plodding story arc with a few supposing revelations that make you go Hmmm (adding to the list of questions to ponder). Despite that, I felt fully engaged with the story and enjoyed it all the way to the end.

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

#BiomassRewind #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.