I bought this book based on all the positive reviews I read and I found that the story is really good. The plot is interesting but the way it's told just didn't work for me at all. I love Scott Brick's work but the combination of his style with the sometimes ridiculous dialogues just made it too campy.
The heroes take time to have long unnecessary conversations in the middle of the action, even while in grave danger! It just didn't have a spy/thriller flow.
I got this when I saw most reviews were really positive and I agree it's a fun ride in an interesting world. As I listened I started noticing something off and it's just that I didn't realize/check that it's a YA novel. It's very good for the genre, you just have to like YA stories.
This book has a good premise even though by now you've probably read similar stories so it's a bit predictable. The book felt uneven, some parts have a good serious thriller vibe but then other parts have dialogue and plot points that take silly turns bordering on childish.
The narrator does his best but his cadence and style contribute to the goofy sense of things. Some of the characters sound like stereotypes especially law enforcement agents. Female characters are not his strength and there's a childish-storyteller tone that got distracting pretty quickly.
I've read both previous novels by Daniel Suarez and have enjoyed them quite a bit. If you like his previous work this one won't disappoint. I think Daemon is probably the best of the three.
What's really amazing is the frightening fact that reality is so close to the story of military drones in the book.
Scalzi's sense of humour is always enjoyable. The premise of the story is really interesting since for the first time we get to see the lives of all those redshirts on the ship.
Biggest problem for me is that it started loosing steam 3/4 of the way in. The ending feels a bit like a left turn without reason. The codas also seemed slow and gave the book a different tone which wasn't even close to how the book started.
If you are into LONG stories with many characters (there's a lot of people to keep track of here) then this is a great option. The premise is intriguing and the science aspect is cool. Interstellar dynasties, planetary corporations and a great variety of characters make it a fun book.
Be aware you'll have to read Judas Unchained (the second and final book) to finish the story (another 40hrs) so it's a commitment for sure.
Personally I loved it. Takes a little time to get into the narrator doing all the voices but it works. Overall a great book with a complex story and fun action sequences.
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