Monday, July 6, 2015

The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson

The book consists of short chapters, following sevral different characters. It continues an earlier long series and starts a new one.
There are several subplots. One involves a man who kidnaps his son from her mother as he belies that the base they live in is too unsafe. Another involves a doctor who collects rare diseases and a ruthless man who helps her. Another is about strange creatures, who appear to produce ekti, a volatile substance which is needed as fuel for interstellar travel. And a strange creature straight from the ancient myths which seems to consist of pure darkness is waking and wants to destroy all intelligent life from the universe.
This book works fairly well even without detailed knowledge of the first part of the series. The major drawback was that as the characters were not familiar, it was hard to form any emotion attachment towards them, especially as most of them weren’t necessarily very sympathetic. Some of the events were pretty separate and seemed superfluous. The subplot involving an alien plague had little to do with the rest of the book and could have been omitted with no consequences to the rest of the plot. There were some huge coincides – once one person just stumbles upon a secret base where other people are working and they even know each other’s. It must be a really, really small universe! The book was readable, but not special in any way. It could have been drastically shorted by leaving away unneeded subplots and by leaving away some of the tendency to explain everything in detail, often several times. There was also a slight anti-science and anti-technology bias- scientists and industrialists were mostly bad guys and the few sympathetic characters were mystic monk-like figures. The ending had more than a shade of deus ex machina. Mystic creatures only briefly mentioned earlier appear and save the day. A pretty average book, not worth of any awards, which feels more fantasy than science fiction.

672 pp.

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