I had not read anything by Tony Daniel previously -- and have been unhappy with the last three books I've read. Too simple, or derivative. I keep looking for something like Dan Simmons' Hyperion series or Peter Hamilton's Commonweath/Void books. Something with a little "there" there. I also enjoy darker pieces like Alastair Renolds (Revelation Space) or Charles Stross' post-moderns (Halting State / Rule 34). I also like some good old fashioned military sci-fi like John Campbell's Lost Fleet, John Ringo's Aldenata Series (or his new Gate series).
This book was a breath of fresh air -- complex players, clever plotting, a hard science edge. It is a very good start to what I hope will develop into a great series. It is Military Sci-Fi (somewhere between Ringo and Campbell) but with a little complexity and darkness mixed in.
When I first started it, I thought: "Ok, bad aliens bomb earth. . ." But the characterization, clever (and well fleshed-out) aliens, and smart plot make this a cut well above the average. There is definately military sci-fi here -- and it is quick and intelligent. But there is also a well-laid foundation for broader thinking and deeper plots to come.
The conclusion builds well, and by the time you get there -- you are fully engaged in the action. This was a pleasure, and I hope that there will be more to come.
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