Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review::Gunship by John Davis

Gunship (Gunship, #1)Gunship by John Davis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Gunship(Book 1)by John Davis

I think I download this while I was looking for steam-punk novels, this is not steam-punk. It's more like Firefly with caveat's galore. It might remind some people of Firefly and some people might actually enjoy it. But there are a lot of strange style choices and sense of some sort of rush that starts from page one and goes right through the thing.

The sense of rush itself could be good but in this case it's just damaging. With the style of writing and everything that John Davis wanted to stuff into this story I would have to go against my usual rule of limiting the size and say that he should have made this story much larger to give him time to develop characters and the story in more expansive way. It's really hard to explain without having someone read the story. You have to read this to see. I think that if he'd chosen a style that would have condensed his writing to essentials maybe the length of the story would then work.

The ebook had some other problems that may or may not have been style choices. Either way it causes difficulty reading the story. There are dramatic scene changes that are not separated in any way except the immediate jar (sometimes) that I got while reading. Sometimes I may have gotten scenes mixed in with each other because there was no way to delineate the scenes. Since on occasion a scene break does show up I have to strongly suspect that the missing scene changes may have just never been there, but it's often not quite fair to assume that with a kindle document because the process of conversion often does lose those dramatic spaces.

There is an entire section where we get a shopping list view of every character on the ship and possibly their motivation and such so that this doesn't have to be dealt with in the story and I would rather see something like this developed throughout the story instead of munged into one hill of description. One result for me is the feeling that every motive and every character seem to have been rushed out and I think that creates the feeling of the characters being flat though if the reader goes back to that section they can almost see they are slightly fleshed out. It really ruined the sense of romance for me in the love interests.

I did enjoy the tension of the battle at the end. The climax is helpful in giving the story a bit more depth. I did end up with some issues about how things developed but the largest is a bit of personal preference. I don't mind the female protagonist fighting in dresses and such. It's a common feature of games and comic books. What I have a problem with is when there is clearly no reason for the female to chose that. If it so happens that the battle starts while everyone is at a ball or dance or some swank function then, yes, what they have on is what they have on. In this story in the final scenes there was no logical reason for the character to show up for battle in a red dress. She knew she was going, everyone had time to get ready, and she should have been wearing the same thing the rest of the troops had and maybe even some battle armor. That said she should have been wounded, hurt, bleeding and sorry that she ever wore a dress into battle.I'm pretty sure there is no mention of the red dress being lined with battle armor.

Lastly and this I would not have complained about if the author had made this novel longer with more depth to the characters, but he didn't. This trilogy probably should have been one book and it should have been reworked and condensed. Or it should have been longer with more built in character development. This leaves you hanging, which again is not always a bad thing, but in this instance it seems inexcusable. This is like a short story or at best a novella. It is definitely not 358 pages as is listed. It's probably closer to 100 pages 120 at best.(I'm not sure where they get these page counts from and a word count is a lot better to judge by.)

For those who are concerned about grammar and spelling errors this is not the book for you.

Fans of Firefly who don't mind some light reading with striking similarities might appreciate this. It's sort of SFF with extreme emphasis on the Fantasy part. The vampires, zombies , and pirates are not well defined enough to really be that recognizable and if you don't mind a lot of bloody action then you might enjoy this if you do like Vampires, Zombies and Pirates.

Some more editing, tighter writing, and a bit more character development with a true page count of 350 pages would really help this book. It has a lot more potential.

J.L. Dobias

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