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I had high hopes for this book. I was looking for a new sci-fi series and the description of potential first contact and finding alien artifacts in deep space is always a subject I enjoy - when written well.
Like some of the other reviews, I too thought the tech was much too glossed over. It was explained away too quickly. One minute they are on earth, the next they have an amazing interplanetary ship made with knowledge gained from a mysterious message. Instead the author chose to focus more on the characters and their interactions. I'm fine with that, and any good series should develop the characters. But I found myself not caring at all about any of them. In fact, as of this writing I can't remember a single name of any of the characters. That's not good.
Perhaps what ruined it for me the most was (minor spoiler), where four of the main characters are caught up in a teenage-like love quadrangle. One has a crush on another and the other isn't sure of his or her feelings about a third, yada, yada...And these "conversations" came at ridiculous times. Let's just say for the sake of being spoiler-free, there's a point in the book where two of the couples are exploring something and they are musing about feelings for this person or that. What? There is potential danger at any moment and they aren't focused on the mission.
Action was almost non-existent as well - except towards the end. I know this first book is a setup for more in the series, but there was nothing at all to hook me. In fact I kept looking to see what chapter I was on so I could get it over with.
I hate writing less than stellar reviews, but this one just didn't do it for me - not when there are so many outstanding sci-fi series, and at just 7 hours there's not much value for the price either. Sorry, I won't be continuing.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Ken Lozito's Star Shroud is the opening installment in what is at least a trilogy concerning alien contact. A thankless and fearless hacker (in 2049), sticking it to greedy corporations, stumbles upon evidence of alien contact, known to a select few for the past 60 years. As a result of public disclosure, a NASA mission is re-tasked to head to Pluto to explore the alien artifact.
The sci-fi elements are a bit crude, with a made for a broadcast TV series quality, than a sophisticated and realistic science fiction audience. All the cliche elements are present: a shadowy corporation getting rich off alien technology, a super hacker who everyone immediately acknowledges is most competent computer genius on the planet, a young female astronaut who just happens to be the granddaughter of the guy who made initial discovery 60 years earlier, and an assorted cast of double agents with unknown agendas. At the same time, there is considerable license with plausible science fiction in that NASA can re-task a mission and move up the launch as well as just happening to have probes in the vicinity already. Regardless of nearly everything going south from the start, everyone just keeps motoring forward. The one saving element is the mysterious nature of the alien presence and their ultimate motives as well as references to another, more powerful foe.
The narration is respectable, although the female roles are a bit overdone in an attempt to convey distinction.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful