Empire Dance 1: Echoes of War by Steven Poore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In my ongoing evaluation of Scribd. This book is available at Smashwords for a fair price and if you subscribe to Scribd you can read it there. The Scribd interface has pleasing elements of readability but it has no note or highlight functions nor do the usual internet lookups work so the reader has a bit of struggle looking things up or making notes and that is compounded by the inability to copy portions of text for notes because of a peculiar encryption pattern. Scribd is definitely not designed well for reviewers. As usual this portion has no effect on my rating.
Empire Dance 1: Echoes of WarSeries: The Empire Dance, Book 1 By Steven Poore
I really enjoyed the writing in this book and the author’s style of writing because it comes close to that of David Weber. What I think Steven Poore may have benefited most from would be to choose one story line that would stand out and dominate; so that the reader ends with a sense that there is a plot.
If you enjoy science fiction that has a lot of procedural element in it, this is the series for you to get to know. There’s world building and thankfully it is not quite as intrusive as what we see in the Honor Harrington series. But it still is enough like that series that it contains about 4 different story lines that don’t quite intersect that well and can be a bit confusing.
The story begins in the Kaleva Drifts with Captain Al-Azra hosting the Imperial and Irian representatives who are there to investigate the remaining wrecks from an apparent confrontation between their vessels. I suppose if we tried to make a plot for the whole it might be the notion of the conflict between these two super powers as demonstrated by their representatives in Kaleva Drifts space.
After that we have the Imperial Palace intrigue story line, the Irian fight against rebel smuggler story line, and the Imperial forces that are shaking down for battles with pirates. One thing I am sure of is that the intent is for all of these to come together. The problem is that none of these story-line plots seems to be resolved so in reality there is no plot that is resolved within the entire story. Or at least I missed that
Usually with a trilogy I don’t complain that much about the plot being resolve unless it becomes apparent that the stories have been broken up to create more books. Each story is about 50k words which is a health novella but not a novel. If they had some sort of resolution to them I’d be much happier, it’s when it’s evident that these could have all been put together to make a 500 page or less novel that it creates a problem. At least the first three could have been put together. The upside is that each novel is inexpensive enough to be in total: the price of a good novel.
I will have yet to see if the plot of the entirety completes.
One thing that uniformly exists throughout and is also something that at first confused me; is the LI (limited Intelligence) that seems to be in the structures and ships of each of these super powers. It took me a while to realize that one of these stories was the Irian’s story thread because they both seem to have these LI-s.
The book is well written with a good pace and a lot of procedural stuff and great world building. The characters take a back seat to this and are not as well developed as I would like but that’s just my preference and a lot of people I know love this kind of fiction.
The real problem I have is when the plot is difficult to define and in this case there end up being 4 stories told that swap chapters back and forth. Add that to the notion that four books could have easily been two books and it becomes one of those things like salt in a wound.
This is still great SFF for those who love the Political and Procedural world building and with the narrative that flows easily it shouldn’t take me that long to finish the 4 books that are offered.
This has an adult rating but I think it would work as YA. With a bit more character development and plot direction I could have given this and easy 5 star.
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