Sam's Blog

Book Review: Sun of Suns by Karl Schroeder

Date: Thursday, 12 April 2012, 16:54.

Categories: books, review, book-review, sci-fi, karl-schroeder, virga.

Being an avid Charles Stross reader, both fiction and blog, I had heard the name Karl Schroeder mentioned a few times and even read some of his guest posts on Charlie's blog, and I eventually picked up one of his books from the local Forbidden Planet: Sun of Suns.

Set in a free-fall air bubble the size of a planet, it's a blend of swashbuckling "airships on mars"-style derring-do, political intrigue, and hints of post-human futurism.

The combination of these elements is managed in a reasonably plausible way although, thanks to my recent reading, I'll be happier if I don't encounter another "barbarians in a lo-fi/low-tech enclave of a far-future tech society" plotline for the next decade or two.

The storyline mostly follows the orphaned son of rebels, who vowed revenge on the perpetrators of the vile destruction of his parents' home, and who grows up and realises that life's a bit more complicated than that and maybe things weren't quite as they seemed, and sometimes there's this "lesser of two evils" thing you have to consider.

My main gripe with this, is that most of this character development happens either off-screen or seemingly over the course of a handful of days within the book. I say seemingly, because passage of time in the book seems a little disjointed and as if it might have leapt forwards a week or two between two paragraphs without any other indication than characters have suddenly had changes of hearts or events have happened that seem like they should have taken some time.

The writing mostly seems to focus on the action and the swashbuckling and mostly glosses over the world-building, which is a shame because the world-building is written far more effectively than the action, with ideas like the game-churches barely touched upon.

Maybe those elements are covered in more detail in his other novels or the sequel, and are merely included as background detail, but it doesn't do a book good to have me most interested in the bits that he didn't write about.

Despite these concerns, I quite enjoyed the book, it was a fairly pacey 300 pages, easily devoured in an evening and didn't feel like a wasted one, but he's going on the second tier of my authors list: people to consider if there's nothing else I'm particularly interested in buying.

Browse Sam's Blog Subscribe to Sam's Blog

By day of April: 12, 25.

By month of 2012: April, May, June, July, December.

By year: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.

Or by: category or series.


blog comments powered by Disqus
© 2009-2013 Sam Graham, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.