The Saga of Seven Suns is one of the most colorful and spectacular science-fiction epics of the past decade.
Listen to more of Kevin J. Anderson's Seven Suns series.
©2008 Kevin J. Anderson; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio
I had a hard time making it through this book, as well as the last. The series was never great for the first five books, but certainly entertaining enough. When the book reached it's natural conclusion at the end of the fifth book when the big bad was defeated, it had to set up a new enemy and further conflict for the remaining two books. This did not do the overarching story any favors and certainly emphasized the many flaws in the writing that have plagued the series from the start even further.
One of my main problems with the series it how it keeps going back to explanations of things we have seen and heard of in the past. Whenever a new character encounters the Klikiss we get a full description of what they look like. We already knew that. This happens many times for many different reasons for many different things. It makes the books long and tedious. Then there's the many viewpoint characters, half of which could have been side characters or eliminated entirely. There is, for instance, no real reason to have Orli Covitz in this book at all, her minor role in the overarching story could have easily been shifted to another character, the same goes for Celli, Kolker (along with his entire sub-plot of adding Humans and combining telink to the thism). And I could go on for many more characters.
What would have helped this series is if it had stuck to the storyline of battling the Hydrogues and Klikiss Robots, refrained from introducing the elemental races entirely and had left the Klikiss extinct. The best part of the story is the internal conflict in the Hansa, pitting the Chairman against King Peter. And had the focus been there, and had the story been reduced to these characters as the viewpoints, the entire series could have been a trilogy, with the first two books resolving the Human conflict and the Illdiran storyline (i.e. Jora'h fixing his faster (and earlier predecessors) mistakes and uniting the Illdiran with the Humans under King Peter's confederation, while resolving the Klikkis Robot uprising as well, focusing the third book on the confederation working out a way to smartly defeat the Hydrogues and working towards the happy ending.
Because that's the whole point, the overarching story has plenty of potential, crafting an interesting universe with plenty of history and that feels like a real lived in place. It was squandered in a meandering series that left too much to be desired. That's why we end up with only two stars, but what could have easily been four stars if the writer had focused more on writing a compelling space opera, rather than imagining an epic, which this is not.
Finally, a note on the performance. While doing an adequate job for the final four books, David Colacci drops the ball on several fronts. For one, mispronouncing the names (seemingly on purpose, given that his pronunciation of EA cannot have been butchered so much by coincidence) which, even at this seventh book, still irks me. But also by adding Earth accents that make no sense for the space characters. Managing to make every female character sound weak and frail (though a common issue with male readers in Audiobooks, I have found) and just not having the emotional range in his reading that his predecessor, George Guidall, had.
All in all, this entire series felt like one big missed opportunity. Showing plenty of potential, but lacking in general direction, quality of writing and of narration. Overal, I cannot give this series more than 2 stars out of 5.
I have never been so spellbound by a series of books as I have been by this set of seven novels. The story line was compelling, the myriad intricate plots were riveting and both narrators performed admirably.
I slogged through this to finally finish the series. Utterly predictable storyline and very slow pacing. Glad to finally be done with this series.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
I liked this a little less then the other books in the series. Mostly it got to the point of ridiculous. Trees that uproot and become spaceships, a water spaceship, etc. I can take the two dimensional characters, I have read plenty of KJA to expect that, but the fantasy just became too much. I would love Anderson to write more in depth about the Ildirans or Klikiss or the Roamers and forget all the silly stuff.
If you are new to the series you of course must start at the beginning. The ratings for this series are similar to the ratings for a short story collection. Anderson has so many elements, that some appeal to some and some do not. Each book is like about five different books.
Here is how I rated the series.
Prequel---Veiled Alliances B
1. Hidden Empire= B+
2. A Forrest of Stars= A-
3. Horizon Storms=C+
4.Scatter Suns= B-
5. Of Fire and Night= B
6. Metal Swarm= B
7. The Ashes of Worlds= B-
My favorite character was Patrick Fitzpatrick the 3rd. In the first two or three books, I hated him, but he grew as a character and by the end, I liked him. The Roamers were pretty cool, they were the McGuyvers of space. They could take anything and make a working space ship out of it. They mined the gas giants for ekti star drive fuel. The Ildirans were a human like race that breed different breeds of people for different jobs. They were also all connected telepathically. The Klikiss was a race of giant insects and the Klikiss Robots rebelled against them and formed their own group. The green priest were telepathic with the world forest. If they could touch a World Forest Tree on one planet they could communicate with other priest on other planets who were connected to a World Forest Tree. So, there was plenty that I liked about the series.
The Hydrogues were an alien race that lived in the cores of gas giants. They were okay.
What was stupid were Wentals and Faeros. Wentals were sentient water based creatures and Faerous were sentient fire entitites living in stars. Bento becoming part of a tree was stupid, Jess Tamblyn becoming a Wental super being was stupid and there was an Ildiran that became a Faeros.
So, each book had something to hate and something to like. I did listen to all seven books and it is very rare for me to have the patience to go that far in any series. I suggest you start with Hidden Empire and go from there.
Overall i thought the story was fairly predictable. how ever the story telling was great, well worth the listen i would recommend it to anyone.
Ya know... there is a point where you just sit back and say this or that character is getting ridiculous and it is making the whole story ridiculous. I've reached the point where the Chairman of the Hansa is so one-dimensional and such a pivot point for the enitre story that everything is getting predictable.
Struggled to finish this story. it was monotony regarding the evil Chairman. the story jumps around a great deal and seemed very implausible at times. would not start this series again if I had to do over.
I have reserved recommendations for this book. Interesting, but they get weird, then there are lots of gratuitous deaths, and then it drags. The series was interesting, but nothing I would want to listen to or read again.
Perhaps Card's weird later Ender books that you read just because you started the series and have to finish it. I get that there are seven volumes to the Seven Suns saga, and I am the last person to say a beloved story is too long, but this is one series I actually would have shortened. It went on and on, and I really lost interest a few volumes ago, but stuck doggedly to it.
Deputy Cain (Kane, Cane?) and Kato Okaya ended up my favorite people, but not because of David Colacci. I actually didn't care for his reading, and several things grated on me, some I have mentioned in reviews of previous volumes. In this one he suddenly changed his own pronunciation of the the planet Raindik-ko to Rinedik-ok.. I don't care either way, just let's be consistent, okay?
No. It is too long and I did sigh sometimes that it was too dragged out.
Sarane remains an idiot, hoping his any tiny gesture means a whole change of heart, and he will love me again. Whine. In what realistic world is an 18-year-old made an ambassador? She should have been killed. Sarane, Cain, and Capt. McHame waited an awfully long time to do anything, and again Sarane nearly blew it.King Peter didn't end up as strong and heroic as I had hoped, but he is okay. If not for Cain, nothing would have worked out.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
The events of the saga don't deserve to stretch this long. I'm glad it's over. And while some exciting events take place in the final third of the book, I believe this book is longer than it should be.
The "good" events that happened in the final third of the book should have happened two books ago, and wouldn't have taken away much of the book. In fact, it would have been an improvement.
Say something about yourself!
I'm the kind of person who has to watch a movie to the very end, even if it's not very good. So I stuck with this and listenend to all the books. Like almost everyone who has reviewed this series, I hated the change in narrator. And even though the David Colacci ended up narrating most of the series, I never got used to him nor liked the different accents he gave the different groups.
But the story is enjoyable, if not earthshaking, and I don't regret listening to the series. This final book ties up everyone's stories is a satisfying way.
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