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Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds 

it was ok


** This review will contain SPOILERS! **

The overwhelming feeling on finishing this book was how much of a missed opportunity this was. Had the author chosen to write a full length story rather than a novella this could have been so much better.

As it stands the characters are hugely underdeveloped, only two or three of them actually form any kind of impression in the readers mind with the rest acting like extras in a crowd scene.

The idea of Orvin being hidden amongst a population which was supposedly made up of ‘dregs’ and war criminals should have meant that a rival faction would appear given that there was so much available space on the ship. Instead everyone supposedly hunts him down unquestioningly. Even that hunt is resolved with no resistance in the end, Orvin just gives up with no resistance or final stand – least effective nemesis ever!

As for the premise of sending down people to a pre-industrial civilization to try and help them advance… it’s laughable that we’re expected to believe that a military criminal from a spacegoing society is going to be able to teach people who speak a different language medicine or metallurgy.

The whole story reads as though the author had an imminent deadline meaning he had no time to flesh out the story or an editorial decision resulted in a large chunk being removed.

2/5

** I received a free ebook of this title from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review **

Robota by Doug Chiang & Orson Scott Card

Robota by Doug Chiang & Orson Scott Card

Robota is based on concept art from Doug Chiang (the concept artist for the Star Wars prequel trilogy + Star Wars The force Awakens, and he is the production designer for Star Wars: Rogue One) with the accompanying story from Orson Scott Card.

The graphic work in this book is ASTONISHINGLY GOOD!

Quite a lot of it doesn’t actually connect with the story as it’s unfolding and I wonder if there’s a prequel book in the pipeline (would be pretty appropriate given the author’s work on Star Wars 1-3!)

The story here is a pretty solid post apocalyptic tale with a couple of unexpected twists in the final chapters. The hero characters and villain are not particularly ‘fleshed out’ but that kind of works better with Caps amnesia and lends more urgency to their mission anyway. 

Sadly, because of the author’s choice to present us with a short story rather than a series of books we learn very little of the history behind the conflicts or even the current state of the planet despite a journey through many terrains by Caps and his companions. I can’t help but feel disappointed in the story arc being so short, especially as the concept art hints at so much more to be written about.

Story 3/5

Artwork 5/5

Overall 4.5/5

** I received a free digital edition of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review **