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Francis W. Porretto
on Nov. 19, 2012 :
As with "Pantheon," "Hades" exhibits both auctorial gifts and unrealized potential. However, the reasons are different.
"Hades's" protagonists Herc/Daniel and Rosalind are appealing in their respective ways. Given that this is fairly obviously an SF/romance after the fashion of Linnea Sinclair, the reader knows right off the starting line that the two are "meant for one another." That does eliminate a potential source of dramatic tension, but given the nature of this sub-genre, I can't see how it could be avoided.
The writing is competent...with exceptions. On the "macro" level, quite a few of the similes and other devices feel tacked-on, as if the author were straining to "write like a writer." In particular, the sex scenes are rather purple and would have been more tasteful if less in-your-face. On the "micro" level, you're still glued to that participial-lead-in pattern, which makes your prose avoidably repetitive. ("Repetition is the enemy of entertainment." -- Me) Also, there are a number of avoidable misspellings and homonym errors.
Where I find the novel least satisfying is in the realm of evocation. You've obviously got a complex backstory in mind for this series. Look at all the things it must cover:
-- The terraforming of Titan, Hades, and no doubt other bits of the Solar System;
-- The emergence of a supra-national, supra-planetary government;
-- The existence of at least one large corporation that can use means normally reserved to a government (i.e., coercive force) to achieve its ends and its clients' ends;
-- Instantaneous communication between places separated by several light-minutes;
-- Technologies that support hover-flight of a fixed-wing aircraft, advanced genetic engineering, swift intrasystem transport sufficiently inexpensive to make it feasible to mine some worlds for the sake of others, and other things.
Now, given that the rule in SF is DON'T EXPLAIN, it would be a serious mistake were any (or all) of those things to receive a complete, detailed exploration in the book. But evocative references to them -- asides about "how it was before" or "how it came to be" embedded in the central narrative or the characters' dialogue -- would have given the story a greater depth than it currently possesses.
And yet...and yet. It's imaginative, generally well plotted and controlled, offers the reader attractive characters and the sort of bittersweet tensions characteristic of SF/romance, and continues a backdrop begun in "Pantheon" that offers considerable appeal and many possibilities. I just can't downrate it...but please, please take the comments above SERIOUSLY!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)