Technically I’m just 4 days into the book but I feel like making Thursday my book review day, only because I need some structure to my writing.
This is new to me, reviewing books. But I also feel that as a writer I need to broaden my scope and include the many forms of writing that were once foreign to me.
On Monday, I mentioned my New Year’s goals and plans, and one such goal was to read one new book each month. This month I started with Seeds of Earth by Michael Cobley.
Seeds of Earth is the first book in a space-drama trilogy; Humanity’s Fire. Earth came under attack by some insectoid creatures referred to as Swarmers, and before all hope was lost, Earth managed to send off 3 vessels carrying several thousand humans in order to find other habitable worlds as Earth became overwhelmed. The story picks up about 150 years later, and follows the human inhabitants of another world founded by one of the three original vessels. There has been no word of the other two vessels, but there is a mix of elation, and trepidation at the approach of another Earth vessel when to most of the inhabitants, Earth was considered lost. This is based on the first five chapters read to date.
To be completely honest with you, I had to read almost all chapters at least twice to get a gist of what was happening; the prologue alone I’ve had to read four times (no joke) just to understand. Part of the problem I feel, is the author uses unfamiliar (and some fictional) terms without putting things into context. It’s almost as if I had picked up the second or third book in the series without reading the first. Who does that anyway?!
Another issue I had was his inability to form relationships between the people and the things they used or needed. He assumes you should already know what is happening, who is where, why, when, and how everything is happening. Here’s an example, an excerpt from the prologue:
In the shroud-like Martian sky overhead, the vortiwing transport grew from a speck to a broad-built craft descending on four gimbal-mounted spinjets. Landing struts found purchase on the carrier’s upper hull, and amid the howling blast of the engines the walking wounded and stretcher cases were lifted into the transport’s belly hold. The turret jockeys, the consoleman, and his half-dozen marines were following suit when the German pilot’s voice spoke suddenly.
“Large number of flying Swarmers heading our way, Sergeant. Suggest you get aboard fast.”
As the last of his men climbed up into the vortiwing, the Sergeant turned to face the caldera of Olympus Mons. Through a haze of windblown dust and the thin black fumes of battle, he saw a dense cloud of dark motes rising just a few klicks away. It took only a moment to realise how quickly they would be here, and for him to decide what to do.
“Best you button up and get going, Lieutenant,” he said as he leaped back into the carrier and sealed the hatch behind him. “I can keep them busy with our turrets, give you time to make orbit.”
Wait, what?! Was he not just on the carrier? How can he jump back into the carrier and seal which hatch behind him when I thought he was on the carrier in the first place?! Do you see what I’m talking about? There was no indication that the carrier was that thing on which the vortiwing landed. At this point I feel the author assumes you will assume what is happening, and you know what assuming does, right?! It makes an ‘ass out of you and me’.
I will be completely honest with you . . . I am slightly annoyed with this book already. The prospect of reading this book three times just to understand it is not what I had in mind. Outside of the incoherency, the flow of the chapters seem to work. It is rather interesting to read the different perspectives of the upcoming event (the approach of the new Earth vessel). But the transportation from the real world to the readers world was rocky and marred with hick-ups, back-tracks, and re-reads.
Would I recommend this book to you? *sigh* I am sorry but I cannot say I would.
But, I am eager to know what happens next so I will endeavour to finish this book and will strive to update you weekly.
The road is rough and narrow but I will continue to push . . . I will finish this book!
Have you had any similar problem books?
Tell me about that one book you just cant seem to finish.