Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Solar Express by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

You know, I've read a ton of Modesitt's novels over the years, starting with his Recluse saga, moving on to some of his standalone science fiction, back to a longer series with the Imager portfolio...and I've generally really enjoyed it, but I could not, after 150 pages, continue wasting my time reading this book. It should have been subtitled, "the least exciting book of alien invasion ever". The tale is told from the POVs of a space pilot, Chris, and an astronomer stationed on the lunar farside, Alayna, who became at least mildly attracted to one another on her voyage to the Moon.

I can't determine whether Modesitt was trying to capitalize on the success of Weir's The Martian, with his mind-numbing descriptions of antenna maintenance, or whether this is some old story he dusted off when the publishers demanded another 10K words for the sake of the contract. Just slap on a world ruined by global warming and Oila! nicely updated for the twenty-first century.

I also wonder if Modesitt's courting included discussions of obscure political subjects, cribbed from Machiavelli, but he's used the gimmick twice now. In the Imager series, it was cute the first time around between Quaeryt and Valera, but when it turns up again, I simply tuned it out.

I've read much better by Modesitt. I'll try not to lose heart.

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