Monday, October 11, 2010

Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh

Another Hugo-winner.
Interplanetary intrigue ensues when ”Company” (a giant conglomerate which takes care of humanity's colonies on other solar systems and has been responsible for the exploration) and “Alliance” (an alliance of farther colonies which want to get out of the influence of the Company) are battling against each other. The Company fleet has been losing the war, and their ragtag fleet arrives at Pell, one of few places where there is a habitable world besides the giant space stations which are most commonly used for bases. Among the fleet there are a many refugees, and the life the space station is suddenly severely disrupted. End then there a few hundred pages of fairly boring intrigue among different factions, before the action again picks up for a few dozen last pages and some sort of resolution is reached, at least for a while. Not much happened, there were too many characters who were hard to distinguish from each other, and sometimes it wasn't easy to understand the motives of some characters. Why would an essentially mercenary Company fleet be so passionate about fighting and try to ignore the peace negotiations made by the company officers? The writing style was hard to follow. At places there were 70-80 word long sentences and it seemed clumsy in other ways,also. And the book starts with very long, very boring info-dump which wasn't exactly an engaging beginning. This book is not among my favorites Hugo award winner, but not worst, either, but somewhere well below average.


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