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  • A to Z of Mechs

    This is not a bad book but I did find it a disappointing book. I felt as though it touched on so many themes and locations without ever really exploring anything other than the "super-mech" that is Abel and his enforced isolation leading to the development of his Humanity. I did feel that rather than being a science fiction novel it was more of a romance between Noemi and Abel that just happened to take place in the 23rd Century. There is plenty of action to be had and different world's to explore but the action is very linear and the worlds are never really explored in any depth. Kismet is the party planet, Cray is the technology hotbed, Stronghold the resource heavy one and they are all sandwiched between the failing Earth and the verdant and idyllic Genesis. For some reason the planets reminded me of H2G2 when Ford and Arthur meet with Slartibartfast and he explains how they tailor planets to the purchasers needs and the technology of the Gates used for travel between the planets reminded me of Stargate. After reading the first few chapters of Defy The World I was compelled to purchase this book as it felt like this would be a great Science Fiction series and now I am not really that invested in reading the second one. It all felt a little too formulaic and as though it borrowed too much from earlier outings in the genre to be great. Maybe I have just read too much and am too old for this series, after all it is for a YA audience who probably have no idea what H2G2 is - although I suspect they will know Stargate from the multiple TV series rather than the original movie. The characters had no real depth for me and I never felt like I got to know Noemi at all. I knew the bare bones of her history and that she was a determined soldier for her home planet but beyond that she just seems to lurch from one crisis of confidence to the next. Abel is much more rounded as we get to see the emergence of his personality triumphing over his coding. Even then I never felt like I got to know him as more than words on a page. The pacing of the tale was good but I never felt shocked by what happened next or like I had to turn the next page to find out what happened to them and how they would get out of this scrape. The universe the action takes place in is well described and you get a good feel for where the action is set but it never quite manages to spark to life in your imagination. The ending is rather rushed but does leave the way clear for the second installment but gives enough closure that if you can't be bothered to continue following the exploits of Noemi, Abel and The Remedy that you don't feel cheated.

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