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, April 19, 2022

Review: Shards of Earth

Shards of Earth Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the best Space-Operas that I have encountered (Welcome to my favorites list). Although there is not much new or unique here (we see fairly typical Sci-Fi tropes such as sentient AI, eugenic cloning, cybernetic biohacking, enigmatic aliens, hapless ship crew, et al.), Tchaikovsky masterfully weaves it all into a compelling world that comes across in a way that makes it easy for the reader to imagine themselves in the story along with the [well developed] main characters.

A rather long prologue introduces us to the two main protagonists … an amazon clone and psionic “navigator” (with an apparent nod to Dune) that reunite decades after they fought off the Lovecraftian “Architects” attack on humanity … who join up with the rather eclectic crew of a deep space salvage vessel (whimsically called the 'Vulture God') retrieve a missing ship from the deep void of space. This sets off a cascading adventure as the crew navigates through conflicting political schemes that draws the reader along to the point that you just don’t want to put the book down (it kept my attention into the dark hours of the early morning) and hands out a few [GoT] surprises along the way. Ultimately we get a satisfying ending and a good setup for a sequel that I can’t wait to read ...

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

#ShardsOfEarth #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.