Review: Perry Rhodan Lemuria I Star Ark

Perry Rhodan Lemuria I Star Ark
Perry Rhodan Lemuria I Star Ark by Frank Borsch

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Book #34 for 2014

I picked this up mainly because I sometimes attend Bubonicon, which has “Perry Rodent” as its mascot, so I was curious about his inspiration, Perry Rhodan. At this point, though, I don’t really know what to make of the character or his universe. Some of the characters did really interest me, but Perry himself was fairly bland. And the world was just confusing, especially regarding the timeframes involved. I couldn’t figure out whether this was supposed to be a completely alternate universe or if the Lemurians were supposed to be aliens that inhabited Earth at some point or some other scenario entirely. I just couldn’t make anything fit right.

I also felt that the story was too referential to 20th-century America. Is this actually some sort of unwritten rule for space opera? Because it seems to be a common complaint of mine. Maybe I should just get over it.

Probably the most annoying thing, though, was that the story just kind of stopped. There was an oddly “Star Trek” gathering at an entertainment planet, but it didn’t really resolve anything. I realize that this is only book one of a six-book series, but I would expect there to also be a smaller story arc to achieve some kind of closure. This book left so much hanging out that I don’t feel confident that all of the dangling threads will ever be tied off.

Despite all the issues I had with this installment, I will probably read the next one if it comes my way. Maybe it would let me know if I would be wasting my time to continue.

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Review: Ascension

Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I registered a book at!

Book #28 for 2014

So, it’s like the author binge-watched Firefly, Star Wars, and Farscape, then channelled the imaginary love-child of JD Robb and Diana Gabaldon. Which, according to lots of the other reviews of this book, is not necessarily a bad thing. If that is the sort of thing you are looking for, congratulations, you have found a winner of a book. (Except I would warn you that this does not have the excruciating attention to detail that one would expect from any mythical offspring of Gabaldon.) I can’t say, however, that I was favorably impressed.

This was a book club selection, and it served to remind me of why I love book clubs and how useful the discussions can be. I went into this discussion pretty much hating this book. Quite a few of the others shared my disdain, but even though we spent much of the discussion eviscerating the book, I was reminded of some aspects of the book that I did like. Koyanagi does have a knack for sensuality in her prose, and this also shows up as some impressive imagery. I also applaud Koyanagi for writing about the kinds of people who exist in her own world, even though that world is unfamiliar to many.

I just wish that Koyanagi’s queer, disabled woman of color in a non-traditional field had been more competent and mature, or had at least grown significantly over the course of the novel. I also found the romantic polyamory subplots distracting as well as predictable and unrealistic. I confess, I have never been involved in a poly relationship, but friends who have done so tell me that I am correct in thinking that clear lines of communication are key for maintaining a positive, mature polyamorous group. And these characters are an epic failure in that regard.

There is a lot of great potential in this book, but I felt like none of it gelled properly. I hope this author keeps at it, though. I can’t say I am terribly interested in reading more in this Tangled Axon series, but if Koyanagi writes something else entirely, I am likely to give it a try.

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