Publication Date: March 15, 2011 (first published January 1, 2011)
Edition: Hardcover, 517 pages
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Only the most desperate colonists dare to make a new home on Hellhole. Reeling from a recent asteroid impact, tortured with horrific storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and churning volcanic eruptions, the planet is a dumping ground for undesirables, misfits, and charlatans…but also a haven for dreamers and independent pioneers.Against all odds, an exiled general named Adolphus has turned Hellhole into a place of real opportunity for the desperate colonists who call the planet their home. While the colonists are hard at work developing the planet, General Adolphus secretly builds alliances with the leaders of the other Deep Zone worlds, forming a clandestine coalition against the tyrannical, fossilized government responsible for their exile.
What no one knows is this: the planet Hellhole, though damaged and volatile, hides an amazing secret. Deep beneath its surface lies the remnants of an obliterated alien civilization and the buried memories of its unrecorded past that, when unearthed, could tear the galaxy apart.
This was a good sci-fi space opera. Nothing great, but not bad at all. Just a good, entertaining, slight above average story. It didn’t have any difficulty keeping my attention, but I wasn’t dying to get back once I put the book down.
This is not an action-packet, gun and lasers blasting typing of book. Although the book starts off in a fairly stressful situation with the final battle of the Rebellion between General Adolphus and General Halmholme, there is really only a handful of other moments like this in the book. To be completely honest, nothing BIG happens until almost 200 pages in, and until then it is just story, plot and character building. Yet despite this, I had no problems reading this book. If anything, when few moments of physical action do happen, it makes them all better.
What made those moments all the more tense was building up of the plot. This book is very heavy in politics. The story is essentially about two separates sets of worlds plotting against each other – one to rule both and one to break away – it’s to be expected. There are no court room battles or voting sessions or anything like that. It is more of the building up of alliances, back stabbing, setting up plans kind of stuff. I liked that.
What I didn’t necessarily like was the style in which the book was written. First, it has multiple POV. Which is fine except each chapter is just numbered. No name. Sometimes it could be a couple sentence to figure out who exactly is doing this thinking and the focus. Nothing major, just a slight annoyance.
Second, was how long the chapters were. There are so short! I mean, I think the average chapter was maybe 7 page long? Maybe, just maybe there was one or two over 10 pages. You put these really short chapters, with twisting political plot, and multiple POV that you don’t know who is – or if it even may be a new character – this is where the issues come. Then because there is so many different characters, and each time with them can be short before we switch or a long time until we see them again, it took away from some of the character development. I understood what happening to them, but I didn’t feel it.
Then with a twisting political plot, these short chapters, multiple POV’s, it takes a while to get the whole story moving forward. Well, the whole time the plot is advancing, looking back on it. But at the time, especially the begging, the is so many separate plots going on, and not seeming to connect, it doesn’t feel smooth.
Despite this sidewinding feeling, the plot is great, and even if you don’t see where it is going, what is going on with all the different characters should keep you reading. Goes the same for the characters as well, once all the plot line come together and the characters starting interacting, you won’t have anymore problems of feeling distant from them as a reader.
It seems what I’m trying to say is, I would really give this book a chance. The beginning will start out big and hook you in, and then just keep the faith that all the separate story lines will come together, the drama will build, the shit will start to happen.
The aliens too! Almost forgot. They have pretty typical aliens powers, but typical I mean, what you expect from aliens in a sic-fi book. BUT how they interact with humans, that is awesome. And what happens with and how it sets up for the second book, you just know that things are going to happen. Th end of the book is great. Not a cliff hanger, but what it is setting up did leave me excited.
Give this one a shot! You might like it!