RogerBW's Blog

Kill Orbit, Joel Dane 18 May 2022

2020 young adult SF, last volume of its trilogy. Maseo Kaytu and Anvil Squad are being sent into space, and nobody's even telling them why…

Well. I rather enjoyed the first two of these; they had a lot of content that was clearly intended for people other than me, but there was a decent tale of the bonding of a military unit (though they never seemed to get any replacements for their casualties). And in theory this should be more of the same, but it left me completely cold.

In part that's because there's more action and less of the social stuff. In part it's because character development largely seems to have finished at the end of the second book. And the whole mystery regarding the nature of the threat to Earth is resolved in what seemed to me the most boring way possible.

The stakes get bigger, but so do the made-up tools our heroes have to fight over them; if the tech (and one character in particular) can instantly grow to do whatever the plot needs them to do, there's no tension, because it's obvious that everything will come out the way the author wants it to (which is always true, but shouldn't be obvious). There's worldbuilding of a sort, but it's just gosh-wow tourism as we marvel at the amazing made-up tech, rather than having any sense of seeing how this spacefaring society might actually work when it's not fighting for the survival of all humanity.

So I found that I didn't care, and so I wasn't being enthralled when someone talked about "the biggest orbital lift in this hectosphere" and I thought "hang on, isn't that a hundred spheres"…

It's dull. The climax of a series should not be dull.

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