Diverse cast: 4⭐
I wanted to love this book so desperately. I grew up on Mr. Paoloni’s Inheritance Saga and when I saw he had written an adult book I was so excited.
This book is just too much. As an audio book at a little over 30 hours it’s massive. Apparenlty 880 pages.
It does not need all of them. So much of this could have been cut out to produce a tighter story.
There’s too much description when there really doesn’t need to be to the point it distracts from the story. So much on the page worldbuilding that also bogs it down.
In 880 pages a lot can happen, and a lot does. It doesn’t mean that was does happen, actually needs to.
As scifi goes, the story of “aliens bad, humans worse due to expansion” isn’t new. While there’s a small riff on it, it’s not much different and doesn’t warrant the length of the book.
He created a massive universe and it felt like he wanted us to know every single thing about it. Not all of it needs to be on the page and listening to it, when it became obvious it wasn’t in service to the story, it was so hard to keep paying attention.
Without all the shiny worldbuilding and massive description, it would be a faster read. I feel like I’d have enjoyed it so much more if it had been maybe 500 pages. Then that time could have been devoted to plot. It wasn’t anything I haven’t read before.
Even the characters can’t make up for it. While they’re diverse, some are hard to get close to. Plus the very beginning, we’re supposed to feel bad for the loss of some characters but since we don’t know them, it wasn’t a big emotional punch.
I hope I’ll enjoy his next book more because he really is a skilled writer overall.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this audio book arc.
*sorry there isn’t a picture, having trouble with formatting.