Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Energized by Edward M. Lerner

A novel which was published as a serial in Analog. There will be spoilers in this review, so be aware!

A group of Russian terrorists hijacks an American power satellite and uses its microwave transmitter to destroy alternative energy establishments. Russians have a near monopoly of the oil production and can ask about any price they want for their oil. They want to ruin the reputation of the power satellite, stop its use and harm the alternative sources of energy. So that they can have a monopoly of oil production, and ask any price they want. Wait, didn't they already have those? Yeah, but they are eeevill Russians. The plot of the book was an extremely black and white story with unreasonably mad Russians. Who cares about climate chance and alternative forms of energy, let’s destroy everything so we can hike the oil price for a little while. I was expecting that there would have been some sort of twist and the stupid evilness of the bad guys would have been some sort of clever ruse, but no such luck.
There was at least one very stupid mistake: a radio astronomer (who really should know better) thinks that aurora borealis might be visible in the sunlight and the daylight only "sometimes" washes them away. I would be extremely surprised if anyone has ever seen northern lights at daytime. They are fairly dim at the best and hard to see even at night time near cities as even moderate light pollution overcomes them.
The writing wasn't too good. I started to read this straight away after the Snow Queen (which had very eloquent writing) and the effect was pretty jarring and took some time to get used to “slightly” less literate writing style. At the beginning of the story there were too much exposition and too detailed explaining of everything, and the end had too long action scene. As a whole, some condensing might have served the story.

app. 340 pp. (a little over 100 000 words, I believe)

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