Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Review: Razor's Edge

Razor's Edge
Razor's Edge by Martha Wells

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a free ebook ARC copy of this book from NetGalley. Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

3 stars, but was almost 2.

I had some really mixed feelings about this book. At times, I enjoyed it. At other times, I just wanted it to be over.

I'll start with the cons:

1. Describe describe describe. This was heavy-handed. When every nut and bolt and widget is described down to the corners, the story loses momentum. Or never gains any. And while good description can help give a clear picture, this did the opposite. The more I read, the more I couldn't visualize anything.

2. The tone was dry. It didn't seem to have highs and lows. Even when the story should have, the tone remained the same throughout.

3. The pacing. It never seems to let up. While this was probably meant to give the narrative suspense, it just served to drag it on and on. And on. And. On. With no rest to absorb heavy descriptions, the pace moved along without any tonal changes, and there was nowhere to take a breath and figure out where we were. Or care.

Now for the pros:

1. The established characters. While a lot of the Star Wars humor and at times light-hardheartedness was thin, the characters themselves were pretty well represented. Leia was Leia, Han was Han, and so on.

2. The new characters. While I would have liked to seen a bit more depth in learning about the supporting cast, I did like what I saw. A varied group of supporting players helped the story along, both allies and adversaries to the main group.

3. The story itself. It was engaging, and the concept behind it was sound. This was a realistic possible mission for the gang between Episodes IV and V, and had some nice twists and turns.

While typing the cons above, I nearly changed my rating back to a 2 again. But then I looked over the cons. How could I give a low rating for a book where I liked the plot, the characters, and the overall idea? The flaws were in the execution, but not the overall tale. So for that I'll stand by the middle ground 3 rating. Which means "liked it". No more, no less. I can go with that.

And that's no small moon.

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