This is a personal review of a book from the slush pile of Team Escapist’s SPSFC2 allotment, and does not reflect the opinions of the other members of Team Escapist. This book did not make it through to the quarterfinals, but I promised reviews of every book I read.
The back blurb promises a blend of sci-fi and fantasy with a touch of history and intergalactic wars.
With obvious typos and grammar issues within the first few pages, this was a difficult read right from the beginning. The most distracting issue was the POV mistakes made when dealing with language translations. If in Kim’s POV, then the ‘unknown’ language of the other characters should not be translated. If Kim doesn’t know what they are saying, than the reader can’t know either. This lack of understanding of the proper mechanics of POV, made me question the abilities of the author to get other things right.
So, not off to a great start. Beginnings need to be so strong. They are the window into your book. If a reader doesn’t like what’s there, why would, or should, they continue to read?
Although, even with the typos in the beginning, once the protagonist was introduced, the opening scene was engaging, and I thought the Fair was a really interesting concept. Unfortunately, after that, everything became scattered. Apart from a few snippets of frustrating conversations and cliche dialogue between species who neither know, nor trust each other, there was also no real forward movement of the story. It kept jumping back to how the characters arrived at the ‘now’ in the story, and I lost interest. With all these issues combined together, it became a struggle to read and eventually I gave up.
I hate giving up on a book, but, Songs of Space and Earth, lacked potential. By the completion of the first half of the book, it was obvious this book needed an overhaul. Perhaps a copy and/or line edit, along with streamlining the main plot, would have helped this book move further in the competition.