I have to say that the first half of the book was very interesting and something I would urge anyone living in western society to listen to. He shows how even though most media outlets like to focus on the negative, and people love to believe everything bad that they hear, things really are getting better from our parents generation.
As someone who lives under 'wage stress' or whatever his name was for people who were just above minimum wage, but also in constant fear of some accidental drain on resources to put them in the poor house, I have to disagree with many of the things he states in the latter portion of his book, which contains almost all of the material I didn't feel fit the theme of the book.
In the first half, he addresses facts about how life is getting better, and wonders why we aren't feeling good about it. You would then say that he would put forth some ideas on how to feel good about it, or at least continue with his 'quit your bitching, things ARE good' feel he had going at the beginning of the book.
Instead, he dives off into long tirades on seemingly unconnected subjects like the 'pathetic arab nations' (his words not mine) and raising the federal minimum wage to an outrageous ten dollars an hour in an effort to make things more expensive for your average American in order to help the statistically fewer poor, forgetting about those of us right above the minimum he suggests, and thusly those that would hurt the worst by the inflation of goods to follow. He also tried to shame the reader into taking on even more of a burden in order to give more money to third world countries. What that has to do with things being better and us not being happy about it is above my head.
Additionally, he seems incapable of using the word "car," instead referring to them as "massive SUV's with the drivers screaming into their cell phones!" While I agree with his general dislike for the vehicle, it isn't the only thing on the road.
Now I'm out of words
As far as the premise is concerned, there is very little not to like about this book. Ancient hero reawakened in his time of need only to find his people is desperate need of his guidance, while fighting to make them realize that he is just a man.
Sadly, the writing in this book is repetative and explanatory. I felt like the author was writing a manual sometimes instead of a novel, explaining in great detail why Geary would say something instead of showing us the effect of what he said amongst the crew. The author took great efforts to not ever let you forget about the time lag in the sensors, mentioning it every other sentence during each naval engagement.
The reader didn't help, speaking each sentence as if it were the coolest thing he had ever said. He spent the entire book pushing out each word with force, making even the most mundane sentences sound like they were the most important thing anyone has ever said.
Also from a plot point I think it would have made more sense to have Geary come from a war torn land to teach the others how to fight than the other way around. Geary came from peacetime and knows more about war than any of the idiots who grew up fighting and training every day of their lives. It makes very little sense to me that they would all have been so tactically stupid that it gave me a headache and I've never been to space captain school.
Overall it is a decent listen if you want to veg out to a fun little space opera can can get past the collection of minor and annoying flaws that will keep me from finishing the series.
Good story, bad writing.
As a previous review said, every time someone says something in this book, they say it coldly, evenly, or grimly. Or they are grim faced when they say it. Sometimes it happens multiple times in the same paragraph/conversation. Sometimes what they person is saying wouldn't be said in those ways. It doesn't help that the narrator says the lines no differently, even when our author tags them that way.
Speaking of the narrator, I think he used to do voices for american cartoons, because everything he says sounds to enunciated and excited. Really annoying. When he starts to do voices and accents it is much better, but his normal voice really gets annoying.
The story itself is pretty good, if you can get yourself past the writing flaws. A civil war battalion gets lost in another world populated by peoples from various places and times in Earth history. Oh, and man eating giant monster mongols. Cue war.
Do an internet search for Fortschen grimly, coldly, and you will get tons of returns on excerpts from his other books where people say the same things. I blame his editor for not fixing his poor use of those same three adverbs. Most of the time they weren't needed, and they ruined an otherwise good book for me. I spent the last part of it beating my head against a desk.
It gets worse towards the end, almost as if he is getting more and more lazy as he writes. Oh well.
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