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A heart-pounding beginning, and then.... disappointment.
am 6. Mai 1997
I can see why some people gave this book a "10", since it starts out terrifically. But, then it
founders badly and I can't rate this book overall much higher than a "4", since I don't think I
would buy it again.
The book is divided into five parts of different length and quality. The first part is a dark and
thrilling action adventure, centered on the armored scout named Felix. It is reminiscent of the
movie "Aliens", with the same violent kinetic energy and the terror of fighting against an
implacable horde of giant alien monsters. The pace of the action mixed with the battlefield
pathos and just the hint of humanization of its characters is a powerful combination and sweeps
you along, making you forget to stop and ask that one simple nagging question (as in the movie
"Aliens"): "why not just NUKE 'em all from orbit!!??"
Unfortunately, the book doesn't continue along the same path, and in the second and third
parts, the author switches gears into the first person narrative (as a different character), and tries
to get into more characterization, more chatty conversation, more human relationships, and
other Writing 101 stuff like that, which he just doesn't seem to have a good grip on because he
sure lost me there. He should have just stuck to what he was good at, which is writing about
action adventure and the pure terror of battle on an alien planet.
So I skipped over to the fourth section, which returns to the tale of Felix. This part was
decent, but got schmaltzy with the arrival of the Masao, and the partial explanation of Felix' past,
which all had a false and tired ring to it. Maybe I've just read too many sci-fi and fantasy stories
in which the central hero or anti-hero turns out in the end to be a prince or king or some other
kind of Superior Being all along. Deja vu all over again.
The fifth and last section returns to the first person narrative and has a definite deux ex-
machina, pasted together quality, as if the author ran out of ideas on to how to get everything to
end while still keeping his first person narrator alive.
Too bad. This book had potential.