Book Review: The Stars Now Unclaimed by Drew Williams

 

Publishing Date: August 2018

Publisher: Tor

ISBN: 9781250186119

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.7/5

Publisher’s Description: Jane Kamali is an agent for the Justified. Her mission: to recruit children with miraculous gifts in the hope that they might prevent the Pulse from once again sending countless worlds back to the dark ages. Hot on her trail is the Pax–a collection of fascist zealots who believe they are the rightful rulers of the galaxy and who remain untouched by the Pulse. Now Jane, a handful of comrades from her past, and a telekinetic girl called Esa must fight their way through a galaxy full of dangerous conflicts, remnants of ancient technology, and other hidden dangers.

Review: In the first movement which lasts about half of the novel there is this writing style that embraces Jane as matter of fact in all things. This singular focus of Jane’s is coupled with dry wit and to-the-point verbosity. Really refreshing writing as it opens up the characters in order for the reader to paint their own mental picture. As the writing takes on an unfettered air, the world(s) and their environments/aliens spring to life. Sadly this comes to a halt as Jane reunites with an old lover.

Second Movement: Here the writing deflects away from the crafting of solid characters to the more patterned exchange of dialogue we see in most romance novels. The shrugging of this, the sighing of that. Hunky man with flashing eyes and a yearning for his safe embrace.

The aliens that spatter the novel are not wholly built as “alien” in approach. All species tended to interact with humanistic emotive qualities. This expedites the story line but tends to undermine the authentic feeling we look for in hard SciFi.  The only good aliens that were wholly alien were the Reint. Creepy to extremes but not real believable with regard to the de-evolutionary premise put forth.

There was quite a bit of filler about the Pax (Borg) that was a way too simple explanation about why the Pax do what they do. There is not a deep or complex evolution of an amalgamation of species vying for galactic control. Of such a scale you would think that something as destructively pervasive (and pivotal) would of had a long and complex tenure of development coupled with an extreme birth. It is just too easy to make a seemingly unthinking and hive like colony (Storm Troopers) the bad guys.

I could not wait to read this during the First Movement and wanted it to end by the Second Movement.

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