It would have been much better if it was written as a contiguous story rather than a choppy set of short stories.
Characters were very shallow and the science and motivations were not consistent. A lazily written book.
The narrator said all of the "he said" and "she said" in a way that became very irritating. Either act the conversations such that these statements are not needed or use other ways to indicate conversation identity.
I would have required the author to start over and write a novel rather than gluing together a loose structure of short stories.
Not up to what I have come to expect with John Scalzi. This was a great disappointment.
The book is a good balance between character development, world development and plot. The characters are 3-D, not perfect or stereotypical. The world is rich with interesting nuances and magic is blended with science in a smooth way that allows both to be believable. The context is mostly consistent and cast somewhat in the Middle Earth modality, but is has unique quirks that make it refreshing. The plot is compelling, basically a coming of age journey, where action is not the driver as much as the narrative itself. I especially like structuring it into a frame story, so that you are drawn in and out of context, with hints presented in the frame and then fleshed out in the narrative. The narrator has very effective voicing that communicates character and emotion. The story is compelling and keeps you engaged, not predictable, pedantic or too weighted toward pointless action scenes. It is consistent and builds with threads that seem purposeful and meaningful to the overall flow of the plot.
I am interested in reading more from this author.
The structure of the world, along with it's science and magic, is fairly straight forward. However, the author's characters themselves are interesting and insightful.
Nothing. The narration adds to and does not impede the story. I do not think of the narrator often, and find the story flows from voice to voice without me being aware of the narration. That is my measure of an excellent narration.
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