Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Courageous

Courageous by Jack Campbell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

We don't really seem to be adding anything new in these later books. Geary still angsting about hero-worship. A strange relationship with Rione. Politics among fleet captains. Spaceships smash each other up.

The space battles are sort of cool, but - and I wouldn't even notice this in a book that had much of anything going for it _besides_ the space battles - they don't really see to make much sense. The ships seem to be subject to Newtonian physics, because we worry about things like how closely they can turn at certain speeds, and being able to catch someone in a long chase who has a speed advantage. But at the same time, it all seems to get thrown out the window once the ships get close; the ships suddenly duck through each other, turn around, and duck back at top speed, with no thought for momentum and acceleration. This is the kind of nit-picky attention-to-realism that you'd easily excuse an author for violating... if there was anything else much going on in these books besides gritty "realistic" space combat. But since that's all we really get here, it's kind of grating when he gets that wrong too.

Also getting a little tired of him re-explaining things about his world that you got from the first two books - like the changes in fleet tactics from the last 100 years. I am aware that there is a fine line between expecting your readers to remember every last detail from book-to-book when they are released a year or more apart, and placating readers like me, who get to come back and binge-read them all in a row, but he hasn't quite hit the mark, to my mind. I keep running into one of these sections, saying to myself "ug; this again" and skipping forward a page or so rather than have to read it again.

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