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, June 6, 2024

Review: The Foundry: A Hard-Science Fiction Space Opera

The Foundry: A Hard-Science Fiction Space Opera The Foundry: A Hard-Science Fiction Space Opera by J. Fitzpatrick Mauldin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book: **** (3 1/2)
Performance: ***

A Typical Space Opera

This book was billed as a Hard SciFi Space Opera … which for most people would be an oxymoron … and in this specific case holds true; although there is an inconsistent attempt to keep the science good, the primary focus is on the drama at the expense of the science. Fortunately the story is still entertaining, once you get beyond the extremely boring and frustrating prospect of a very young child (age 5ish) stuck on a 40 year deep space mission (presumably because the original crew might not make it the whole way). Unfortunately … that takes up a good portion of the beginning of the book.

The mission is a response to an ET message saying come find us … so the earth, in a desperate attempt to find help that might save humanity from its poor stewardship of the earth, sends out a handful of ships (redundant missions show how desperate the situation is). There is a lot of juvenile drama on the trip out until the finally get to The Foundry … and everything falls apart. Not only are we not alone, there is a veritable menagerie of aliens and they are not all friendly. One one side are competing philosophies on how to protect ALL life and a few trippy parts exploring post humanism and genetic manipulation (just a little). It does get a little over the top and preachy at times … but you should expect that with a space opera … so set phasers to max and just bring it … and have a little fun.

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

#TheFoundry #FreeAudiobkFacebkGrp #KindleUnlimited

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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.