on June 1, 2016 :
The first part of the story is a quite boring Space Opera with familiar cliches. I did not like this one. It's our contemporary terrestrial marine shifted into outer space. From where did I know that the aliens would be reptiles with horns and crests like in every unprofessional Space Opera I know? Creatures who have developed on an utterly strange planet in an alien environment still walk on two feet, have a spine, have a head, eyes and mouth, long rows of sharp teeth, feet and hands with digits. These ones, however, have two tails (no clue given why a species should have one spine, but from the lower end splitted into two, or what two tails are good for). The first combat, for heavens sake, ist described as a boxing match between the hero and the foremost monster, after the human spaceship has been boarded by an attack with spurs, piercing the ship like was the case 2000 years ago with roman warships.
Other authors create suspense by using dialogues, and if they are gifted, they paint scenes and emotions with word. This author, in numerous places, simply describes a situation and the reader can not forget that he is reading a rather absurd plot somebody else made up. There does nothing happen which could make the reader identify with the hero or feel curious about what happens next. Here is the most dramatic moment of the whole book, where the mighty human spaceship is attacked by horrible monsters: " Her eyes slowly opened as the lights in her small cabin came on dim, steadily getting brighter. She slept like most of the crew, in a gel pod that was vertical on the wall. With no gravity, once stuck inside the oxygenated chamber, it was easy to imagine you were ‘laying down’ rather than pinned to a wall. The door opened and Jane climbed out. She wicked away most of the gel, which inevitably stuck to her light colored skin. She then entered a small shower recess (...)".
Furthermore the book has by far the most and sincerest spelling errors I ever met on Smashwords, so I think the author depends heavily on his spell correction software. As English is not my mother language, it helped to imagine what the sound of the word would be which obviously did not make sense, and which words had the same sound, and which of them would make sense. Tails are written "tales", a bubble tinted aqua is "tented".
Up to part IV of the book the author seems to be practice writing a book. Hold on to the story, in the second half the plot (and maybe the skill of the author) developes, revealing an age-old mystery, showing more action as well as some ideas which are not taken from the mainstream of SF trash, some alternate human societies and how they would influence each other, shows some surprising developments looking back on the first half, too and introduces some more credible personalities.
I _did_ come back to the book and edited this review, adding one star. Two stars in my system means: it's free; read and enjoy, then forget it.
Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven.
This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
(review of free book)