Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Abandoned Tomes: The Mirrored Heavens

Now, I don't read too much science fiction, I find much of the future worlds the authors envision depressing and scary, plus I just don't find technology, and the potential there of, all that interesting...those reasons right there may just be why I failed to enjoy The Mirrored Heavens by David J. Williams.

However I think differently. The book kicked off with a long, balls to the walls action sequence, with tons of explosions, and a bunch of dudes getting their shit blown up. When the dust cleared, a terrorist group called Autumn Rain had blown up the Phoenix Space elevator, the modern wonder of the world, some giant space thingy that never got explained what the hell it was, and was only mentioned so that it could get blown to smithereens. Then there are these dudes, and dudettes called "Razors", (2110 future talk for hackers) who can do a bunch of fancy computer stuff that didn't make any sense, and once again, wasn't explained. Oh, and there are these dudes called "Mechs", guys in the future's version of War Machine's armor, that can fly, shoot shit, blow shit up, chuck grenades, go invisible, move super silently, and did I mention that they can blow shit up?

Seriously, it had all that stuff. And yet somehow it wasn't awesome. I couldn't believe it, I thought for sure this book would be an excellent, light, yet supremely entertaining re-entry into the sci-fi genre. One of the problems is the fact that the characters are beyond weak. The story follows Claire Haskell and Jason Marlowe, (and a couple others), the two comprise of a typical razor/mech team. They are given almost no back story, and no qualities or motivations that set them apart from anything or anyone else. The two were seemingly just there for the sake of it. Also, there was a LOT of dialog, in this case, not a good thing. The dialog was really hard to follow as it had a brisk, clunky approach that led me to never knowing who was talking.

The last gripe, which may not apply to all, is Williams' staccato prose style. His sentences were short and punchy, and short on description, with tenses that alternated at the author's whim. The plot just kind of churns along, seeming to only serve as a launching point for more shit getting blown up. Some people might like his writing style, but I got sick of it really fast. I couldn't focus on the story and thanks to the weak characters, I couldn't care about what was happening to them.

I'll end on a positive note though, the action sequences were pretty damn sweet, and since I am a fan of explosions, I liked reading about things getting blow'd up. However, it just wasn't enough.

Chance of giving it another go: nope

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