I'll preface my review by saying I haven't read the rest of the series yet, but I'll be purchasing book two right after I submit this review.
..Show More »>This is a very raw and gritty story. It's not a pretty one either. If you've read Stephen R. Donaldson before, see Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, you'll know he doesn't shy away from uncomfortable topics. Rape, physical and mental torment, and questioning the grey area sanity are all things he exposes the reader to and this "short" novel contains them all.
You won't feel comfortable listening to portions of this book but I do think you will come to the same conclusion I have. If this book's quality is indicative of the series to come I think you're going to be in for a great ride.
Scott Brick's narration as always was great, no complaints there.
This book is well written, but brought me no value for my credit. The prose is very good, and well edited. However, readers need relaxation from the..Show More » tension, and hope for the future. This book is just misery, and when it ended abruptly with little resolution I rejoiced, since I wouldn't have to listen to it any more. If you enjoy endless human cruelty, perhaps you would like this book, but I found little in it to recommend. Stephen Donaldson is a very competent author, but perhaps I'm not the right reader, because I have no interest in listening to another chapter of this malevolent torture.
Never forget that when Stephen R. Donaldson is the man doing the writing that there is no end to the misery that the universe will dump onto the main ..Show More »characters. It is no surprise when fate (aka Donaldson) conspires to back all three of his protagonists into a corner at the same location in Forbidden Space, a little outpost known as Billingate. This illegal outpost, where human pirates and Amnion conduct dark dealings, becomes the backdrop for the convergence of Angus, Nick, and Morn and all the vitriol they carry for each other. It is not mere coincidence that this happens because two of the most powerful men in existence, Holt Fasner, head of the United Mining Company, and Warden Dios, head of the UMCP, are plotting against each other and using Morn, Angus, and Nick as unwilling pawns in their struggle.
After Nick Succorso discovered that Davies was not his child, and that Morn's passion for him had been fake all along, he decided to get back at her by trading her son to the Amnion. The Amnion eagerly agreed to the trade because of their desire to conduct mutagenic experiments on Davies. Morn, still a prisoner aboard Nick's ship, manages to divert Davies' pod at the last instant away from the Amnion ship and toward Billingate where he winds up a prisoner. Of course this makes Nick Succorso furious because he is now in a position of total weakness as his ship arrives at Billingate with little to bargain for the return of Davies and no other way to make good on his promise to the Amnion. Meanwhile, Angus, who is now a fully 'welded' cyborg, is also sent to Billingate on a secret mission by Warden Dios and thus the reunion is complete.
The story remains interesting and the slow reveal of the bigger picture raises the stakes; however, there is no end to the creative and sinister use of technology to make the lives of the main characters miserable. Since it is hard to feel sorry for any of them, except Morn, one needs to just sit back and ponder how things are going to get worse for everyone in the next chapter. Scott Brick remains his steady self as the narrator of the series so if you found the first two books compelling there is no reason that you shouldn't continue with this one.
This one starts slowly as the Machiavellian schemes of Holt Fasner and Warden Dios are flushed out in great detail. However, when the story finally tr..Show More »ansitions back to the main characters aboard the ship Trumpet things really pick up speed. Fasner and Dios are locked in a battle of plots and schemes that puts the very government of Earth, and their own lives, in great peril. With a new bill being proposed that would move the UMCP (the human police) out from under Holt Fasner and over to the government itself, Fasner is willing to go to any length to stop such an action, including terrorist actions against the government. At the same time, the two of them are also manipulating events as they relate to Trumpet who is on the run from the Amnioni with multiple other ships in pursuit.
As is par for the course in this series, the three main protagonists are at each other's throats and vying for control of Trumpet while they run from the Amnioni and their other pursuers. They eventually head to an asteroid swarm that houses an illegal lab where they will attempt to unlock the formula behind the mutagen immunity drug that Dios and Fasner have kept secret for years. This might give them a weapon they can use to get back at the men behind the scenes that are making their lives miserable, but it is also the reason that the Amnioni will risk anything to stop them, including an overall war with humanity. The mutagens are the Amnioni's best weapon and an immunity drug could allow humanity to essentially wipe them out of existence.
Many lesser characters are flushed out in greater detail as the cast of impactful characters grows immensely and it all makes for a tense story that builds to a giant crescendo of a confrontation. Stephen R. Donaldson once again tells a very compelling story while his characters remain subjected to unending amounts of suffering and mental abuse. This series is extremely dark and gritty but it is well written and I am glad I finally gave it a try after ignoring it for so many years.
Scott Brick delivers another excellent performance and with one book left in the series I am totally hooked. At this point, I must know how it all plays out.
This series was Donaldson's best work, even better than the Covenant series. 5 stars is not enough to rate this excellent story. I would highly recomm..Show More »end not only this book but the entire series. The book was so good that I did an all-nighter because I COULD NOT STOP LISTENING.