Thursday, 23 September 2010


Pretty average sci-fi really.  Well, maybe better than average actually.  I enjoyed it.  The one thing that did niggle at me was after Bandie gave the new alien characters names that were pronounceable, the author subsequently used the 'proper' name so although Deeeeeeeaaaaabbb (or some other number of ees, aas and bbs might have been used) was called Deep in dialogue with Bandie, it was spelt out fully all the rest of the time.  Which was kinda annoying.  And I wasn't entirely convinced by the use of little *s before sun names.  Didn't seem necessary.  Plus there was an additional plot on Saturn (or a moon of Saturn, it wasn't all that clear), involving Bandie's ex-girlfriend, which seemed kinda unnecessary.  There was more than enough plot for the novel with the main plot involving a mysterious alien technology that was steadily murdering stars for purposes (initially) unknown.

The translater stones were pretty interesting, particularly as they were, in effect, an intelligent life form that took the form of a pair of stones embedded in all the main characters.  Maybe a bit similar to the bable fish in Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, although I don't think they ever couldn't translate anything, got infected, or had personalities.  I've not read the whole series though.  Anyway, this was a book four, so it's fair to assume that a bit of character development at least will have taken place in previous books rather than this one.  As a result, the only characters who seemed more than two dimensional or plot enablers were Bandie, the female alien who he was in love with (and whose name escapes me--surely there's a case for writing a sci-fi with names that are actually memorable!), and the robots were reasonably well developed.  But there were another two members to the 'team', and they seemed more there to fill up numbers than because they were all that interesting as characters.

However, it was a good story, and there was a reasonable amount of action.  The plot was also (apart from the slightly dodgy subplot on earth, which might have made more of an impact if I'd read the first three?) pretty good.  So I enjoyed it and I'll keep an eye out for the others, but I won't be rushing out to buy it.

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