Tentacles, aliens and pirates, oh my!

The Wrong Stars (Axiom)The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Callie floated, feet hooked over a handrail in the observation deck, and looked through the viewport at the broken ship…“
As first lines go, this was pretty good, you know straight away what is going on. Mainly, light entertainment with snarky banter…

“Have I told you lately that I‘m a genius?“
“I‘m not sure. I don‘t usually listen when you talk.“

…and a collection of archetypical characters, some funny aliens, some scary, mysterious aliens, a few pirates, instalust, empty and badly lit space stations and a feeling that the author really likes The Expanse.

The middle of the book suffered from middle-of-the-book-syndrome, aka I was slightly bored, because it did not move along fast enough for my taste for this type of novel. The ending was a lot more fun again, although the author had almost lost me by then.

A fairly entertaining if somewhat shallow space opera, with decent enough world building. My favourite characters were Shall and Lantern. Callie, Elena and Ashok were good, too. The rest were forgettable. A little less cardboard-cutout and more character depth would have been nice.

Anyhow, this would probably make a good movie script. And it opens up this particular universe for some entertaining sequels, while trying to wrap up that scary major story arc…

So, good beginning and ending, a slightly meh-middle… 3.5ish tentacled stars…

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Lightspeed

Lightspeed Magazine, August 2016 (Lightspeed Magazine, #75)Lightspeed Magazine, August 2016 by John Joseph Adams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Those Brighter Stars” by Mercurio D. Rivera, 6030 words, ~14 pages
Aliens come to Earth, fairly typical first-contact-scenario. Emphatic skills, three generations of mothers and daughters and their failure to communicate with each other and others. The exploration of Ava’s emphatic skills was interesting, but sadly didn’t go very far. 3/5 stars

“Trip Trap” by Kevin J. Anderson and Sherrilyn Kenyon, 4210 words, ~10 pages
Oh, a bridge troll, that’s different!
“I don’t like fast food. I want something slow enough I can catch!”
I know the feeling! The story was mildly amusing. 2/5 stars

“The War of Heroes” by Kameron Hurley, 8595 words, ~20 pages
“There can be no civilization without war,” the Hero said.”
Depressing, but well written. I loved the ships. 4/5 stars

Source: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/iss…

Total 4 stars, 44 pages read

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