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I absolutely loved this book and its 3 sequels. Good, gritty post apocalyptic alien invasion storyline. Interesting and tormented main character. Not much to not like. In the later books the author goes to some dark places and touches on subjects you may wish he would have avoided - but everything feels true to the character and the world the author has created.
You need to know one thing before buying : book 4 ends with an extreme cliffhanger... and fans have been waiting since the early 1990's for a resolution. Mr. Gerrold still says he's working on it - but the fairly imminent release of book 5 has been promised repeatedly, and for about 20 years. The series is supposed to end with a total of 7 books - but again after book 4 there has been nothing.
I still highly recommend the series - but only start it if you can accept the story as unfinished and sadly very likely to remain so.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Yes this is an alien invasion post apocalyptic book. However, its not about flying saucers and heat rays. The invader is an alien Eco-system. The concept is know as the Panspermia Theory. So it's less about fighting greys with lasers and more about fighting a deadly invasive ecology. Product of alien evolution or bio engineered? /shrug Join the fun and listen to the book.
The part of the book that might turn some of you off as was mentioned by other reviewers is a main character who is really smart but is also an annoying putz. I don't mind that so much; not all my heroes need be flawless demi gods. And he also goes into some weird interpersonal adventures over the 4 books that can be cringe worthy for some listeners. Being an open-minded sort helps.
Also, in Jim's America, the government is modeled straight out of Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers. It's an idealized version of Fascism. Individual wants come second to the "states" needs all in the name of efficiency and proper resource allocation. If you watched the movie Starship troopers or read the book, you'll remember the classroom scene where the politic philosophy of this kinder and gentler fascism is explained. Gerrold recreates this for the reader so you'll understand the history, world, and political system Jim must navigate. Also the third world (called the forth world) is portrayed as irrational, greedy, and constantly playing the colonial victim card .
Its fiction, take it for what it is, don't make it personal.
I really loved reading (and now lsitening, thank you, thank you, thank you, Audible Studios) to this and the others over time.
Books 1 through 4 have been a strange and crazy ride through Jim's world. But I don't regret reading the series even if it never is finished.
If you must have closure, you may want to pass. If you believe, like the Great Pumpkin, that fifth book is coming. Then you'll want to catch up with the series and be good to go when the fifth book/audiobook gets released.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful