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Richard A. Shury (is it too soon to tell you the A is for Awesome?) is the author of three novels and some short stories. He works in Security and Compliance, so doesn't write as much as he should; lives in London and writes about himself in the third person. He is terrible at succinct self-summary (but awesome at alliteration).
Sadie S. Forsythe
on Sep. 05, 2012 :
Rook can essentially be reduced to one man's attempt to do the right thing, possibly as an attempt at redemption. The character Rook is a highly skilled assassin/thief who suddenly develops a conscious and sets out on an audacious journey to protect the innocent. It's a thankless job, but he feels he has to do it. The book really is a one man show. It focuses almost exclusive on the title character.
Here's the thing though... a lot of galactic history is given which, while interesting, really isn't necessary unless the book is going to be part of a series (thereby giving it purpose it currently lacks), but none is provided for Rook. This means that the reader has no idea why he should suddenly decide on a course of action that is obviously presented as a breach of character. About 65% in there is a little bit of internal dialogue (should that be monologue if he is talking to himself?) about it, but how he feels about his actions still doesn't explain why he took them in the first place. This makes the book feel pointless...or rather beginning and endless. The reader doesn't know what is being built up to or when it has been accomplished.
I have considered the possibility that the story is actually an allegory of how small one man's efforts are to the whole, even when he is exceptionally well trained and giving his whole. Like Rook no matter how hard one tries, 99.999% of the world (galaxy in this case) won't know you exist, even fewer will know what you sacrifice, and everything just keeps moving along regardless.
Now, having said all of that I have to praise Shury's writing skill. The book is incredibly well written. The fight scenes are exciting, the plot engrossing, and the technology and galactic history well thought out. There is even a timeline at the end. If this were a longer piece or part of a bigger whole it would have seemed more important. But it is clear that Shury took some time to really establish the back story to this story and I for one would be really interested in reading more.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on July 07, 2012 :
Good, but let down by intermittent typos and limited character development. And we don't need so much 'history'.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)