Prador Moon: A Novel Of The Polity by Neal Asher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I picked this up out of curiosity after seen Neal Asher on the local SF book store. What I was after was a straight forward space opera; I thought anything more than that would be a bonus. And yes, that’s what I got.
Several other reviewers has complained that this book might not be as good as Neal Asher is supposed to be. And having read it, I think I can see that: there is capacity here, there’s good pacing, and interesting characters. However, there’s also a shallowness in the story, the world building and the character interactions.
Did I say character interactions? Er.. Well, there’s one point down then: there really isn’t much of interplay at all. The main characters do their thing separately through much of the book, and when they’re finally put together the author quickly separates them again. As a romantic sucker, I do not agree.
There’s graphic violence. I have however read, say, both Richard K Morgan and Steven Erikson, so I wasn’t too bothered by this.
The action pacing is really nice. In fact, the pacing and spacing in the entire book is good, making it a really quick and engaging read.
Here’s another possible reason the book doesn’t really work: The author tries to tell a surprising amount of the story from the POV of the aliens. It’s kind of dangerous to assume a completely alien mindset as you’re running the risk of 1) removing natural tension as the aliens becomes “knowable”; and 2) humanizing the aliens. Contrasted to some of the best aliens I know of, Stephen Donaldson’s Amnioni, the Prador are easier to understand and hence more predictable and not at all as scary.
So, all in all a fast a furious read. And sometimes, that’s what I want. Also, I do believe this author has more to give, so I’m continuing on, hopeful next book will be a bit better, because then it could be really good.
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