Blood of the Cosmos: the second book in Kevin J. Anderson's Saga of Shadows trilogy.
An epic space opera of the titanic conflict of several galactic civilizations against a life-destroying force of shadows, a dark, cosmic force that has swept through the undercurrents of the human interstellar empire. The intertwined plots, overflowing with colorful ideas, a large cast of characters, and complex storylines span dozens of solar systems, alien races, and strange creatures.
As the second book of the trilogy opens, the humans and Ildirans, having narrowly escaped annihilation at the hands of the Shana Rei and their robot allies in book one, are desperate to find a way to combat the black cloud of antimatter of the Shana Rei. The mysterious alien Gardeners, who had helped them previously, turn out to be a disaster in disguise and because of them the world tree forests are again in danger. The allies believing they have found a way to stop their dreaded enemies, a new weapon is tested, but it's a horrible failure, throwing the human race and its allies to the brink of extinction.
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I absolutely loved this book! I can't wait until the next one comes out!! It amazed me that it was not hard for me to follow the storyline because I have not listened to the first set of books (Saga of the Seven Sons).
Story is an engaging continuation of the Saga Of the Seven Suns. It follows the same narrative format, bouncing from character to character without having a single main character. That's fine for those used to it from previous books. Anderson hasn't lost the ability to keep me interested and wanting more. My only problem is that it ends in a very unsatisfying place. I want more! Sigh. I'll just have to wait.
I read the Saga of the Seven Suns quite a few years ago and remember I felt distinctly relieved it was all over by book 7.
Nonetheless I decided to give this a go. While I gave it a good go to slog through the first two books, I am not going to bother with the third instalment.
The story is quite good, but the author insists on treating me, the reader, like I have the memory span of a gold fish. He wastes huge amounts of time reintroducing each character every time he focuses on them, often using dialogue. As a result the protagonists have long conversations stating the bleeding obvious to each other and the dialogue is so stilted and wooden I sometimes felt like I was reading a Little Golden Book.
Unlike Alastair Reynolds or Iain M Banks (IMHO the current masters of the genre), Anderson does very little to inject any believability into the sci-fi concepts he presents to the reader turning the story into a rather lacklustre soap opera.
Keep searching. There are much better book out there.
Story development is great, the mix of stories keeps it interesting, and as usual, KJA is not afraid to kill off well established characters as the story progresses . The ending was a bit of a cheap cliffhanger, but I was expecting that since the first book. definitely looking forward to the next book.
Blood of the Cosmos is the Kevin J Anderson's 2nd installment in the Saga of Shadows series. Book 2 picks up where the first ended with multiple plot lines continuing to evolve. While no new characters are introduced, the Anthos receive attention and we learn some of their backstory. The Shana Rae and the Clickiss robots continue their Sherman's march to the sea strategy, while the bloater extraction business gets messy for Lee Eastwander. Fireheart Station's big ring project is brought online with unexpected results. Fortunes are won and lost quickly.
There are few if any new sci-fi elements, except for bigger versions of some older stuff. There is little resolution of ongoing situations with the general direction being bad for both humans and Illdyrans. Perhaps the one glimmer of hope is a possible treatment for Prince Rain may have been found. While the complexity of the tale is enormous (20 - 30 major characters are followed), Anderson's easy going story telling style makes keeping track of everyone painless. Sadly, this installment ends with little hope, although the mystery of the bloaters (and their "singing") remain obscure. An as of yet unidentified power player remains to be revealed, although there are hints that even the elementals are a bit gun-shy to get involved.
The narration is well done with a fantastic range of voices, particularly given the range of characters. The only criticism is that the delivery is a bit on the slow side; a slightly faster pace would have been preferred.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
This story makes me feel bad that there's only one more book left before the saga ends. While some characters are significantly more interesting than others, there are no dull characters who didn't have their moments to shine.
I think the ending is rushed and builds to the next story, however. It is a poor conclusion to the tale and the final few chapters all end in cliffhangers.
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Mostly was okay - women and robot voices tended to be a little child like..
Kevin Anderson tells a good tale but in this book for some reason he wants to continually remind the reader over and over again information we already know. The first book in the new series it was kind of nice being reminded of things from the original series but it gets ridiculous when he reminds us of character's traits or their back history that have already be covered a couple of times in the same book and the first book of the series! And they are not even new characters but some that have been around throughout the original series...I admit I have problems remembering characters sometimes but it happens again and again for the first 3/4 of the book...I found myself wanting to scream "Yes I already know that!"...Sometimes I felt like he was writing for Alzheimer patients...
Kevin J. Anderson created an 7 volume epic fantasy, The Saga of Seven Suns, that spans the universe and contains many wonderful species, fantastical powerful elemental creatures and even an evil robotic race within a backdrop of war, strife and intrigue throughout. The seven volumes transcend a couple of human generations, all the while seeding previous volumes with new and interesting next children. I mention this, while not necessary for this follow-on series, it adds a richness to the current saga that one won't regret for a more in-depth understand of his universe.
I'll try not to outline the story in any significant detail since it really should be experienced without too much interpretation from myself. Suffice it to say, both Kevin and Mark Boyett combine to deliver an enjoyable epic fantasy. I particularly liked Anderson's decision to prelude what had occurred in the previous book so as to get the listener up to speed smoothly. This is important since the cast of characters are so large, each having their own storied past, that it helps fire off the synapses for quick recollection, allowing a smooth transition to the next part of the saga.
For anyone who enjoys epic fantasies told well, you'll not be disappointed with Book 1 and this, Book 2, of The Saga of Shadows.
"SciFi but very mystical"
Yes, it is well performed, Mark Boyett gives the characters life
Still waiting to find out what the great ring actually does. The two biggest problems I have with the storyline are 1) The endless repetition of info that you have already been told within this book, the previous book & the previous series; and 2) The endless mysticism - galaxy wide instantaneous communication by a "green priest" touching a tree, the "thism", etcetera. There is a constant flow of "deus ex machina" plot turns - both to start and finish a set piece within the storyline that I have actually started to get a bit annoyed. Mind you, this is the 9th book in the Seven Suns / Shadow series and nothing has really changed.
Very good, but I have always enjoyed them
Suspend your disbelief right here and now
Entertaining, but eventually a bit tiresome
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