I really enjoyed this story. I was filled with flawed people doing the best they can in a chaotic and overwhelming universe. The main character's actions have consequences which they continually have to deal with.
I would recommend this story to anyone who likes a well written space opera.
While this novel is set in the "real" world of London, in the late 1800s, the characters feel like many of the characters from Terry Pratchett's Disc World Series. In some ways, it is a rehash of Mr. Pratchett's more successful novels. Often I would, in my mind's eye substitute Dodger for - say his Moist Von Lipwig character, or his Lord Robert Peel for his Watch Commander Sam Vines. The most original character was that of Dodger's erstwhile jewish roommate and mentor, Solomon Coen.
So what made this story so enjoyable was a good story, well told. The narration was masterfully done by Mr. Stephen Briggs, which adds a life of its own to the characters in this story. The pacing was nice, keeping the story moving along lively while showing the truly harsh life of the lower classes in London at the beginning of the industrial age.
I was not familiar with Chelsea Handler when I purchased this book, but I had heard that she was a comedian. I thought this would be an interesting read with a lot of humorous insights and comments. By the time I was half way through the book I found I really didn't like her.
All the stories are told from her perspective with her comments and asides thrown in for good measure. She seems vapid and self absorbed with little regard to family, friends or the guys she was currently dating. While that can be comedy gold, Chelsea came across more as mean and bitchy. Kind of like a younger Joan Rivers. I have never liked Joan Rivers.
After 6 hours of this thoroughly unpleasant woman, I am ready to move on. Most of her stories have an air of truth to them, which in a way, just makes them that much more sad.
This book is definitely unexpected. With the evil overlord becoming the protagonist and fighting against an unknown entity, it becomes a "tongue in cheek" romp across a number of "Saturday Afternoon Movie" b-movie plots and unexpected twists. Giant Sea Creature, check. Extraterrestrial space mercenaries, check. Rampaging dinosaurs, check!
So sit back and enjoy, because Emperor Mollusk is at the wheel.
This was "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Creatures" but set in a 1950 b-movie lot.
Refined, british style of speaking that added life to the protagonist
Forget Earth, Emperor Mollusk is saving the Universe this time!
I really enjoyed this story, which is a set of 9 short stories set in the same universe. The characters have real emotions and common motivations that drive the stories in a futuristic setting where the lines of personal identity and human rights get blurred. This story is similar to William Gibson's Neuromancer or Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash as it often deals with the underside of humanity, the people living on the fringe, trying to make their way in a technologically disadvantaged setting. However there is often a strong mixing of racial tension, radical feminism or class disparity that gives each story a unique feel from Gibson or Stephenson. Don't let this scare you away though, this is an excellent read with many thought provoking ideas as technology becomes more integrated into the main populace.
Narrative was choppy, and the plot hard to follow. The story jumps from scene to scene with little or no explanation as to why we are suddenly there. The characters were cardboard cut-outs, full of Semper Fi machismo, with almost no backstory to make you care for them. As a military Sci-Fi piece, I was expecting some detail into tactics and combat, but there was little of that as well. Entire battles were condensed to one or two un-fulfilling sentences. Finally, the conclusion to the plot comes right out of left field, with no chance for the reader to discover it for themselves. It was a disappointing end to a disappointing story.
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