Book Review: The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi (Three Stars)

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Book Review: The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1) by John Scalzi

Three Stars

“This isn’t going to end well.” “Does it ever?”

Scalzi delivers the goods. So many other authors of science fiction fail simple narration, if not science. Scalzi is a master storyteller and covers himself on the science front as well. Unlike many first-of-a-series novels, this story has a satisfying conclusion even as it sets the hook for follow-on tales. A good, fast, enjoyable read.

“I’m busy with the end of everything.”

Perhaps compensating for the male cast imbalance of previous works, almost all the major characters are female.

“… the human tendency to ignore or deny facts until the last possible instant, and then for several days after that, too.”

The f-word occurs in some form 202 times. Half of those are to establish the credentials of one of the female leads, but most weren’t necessary. Cost him a star. It’s not as if Scalzi hasn’t used salty language before, but it really does distract from the story, and even distracts from his trying to differentiate his female primes. You were warned.

“It’s the human brain. It creates patterns where there aren’t any. Imagines causality when there is none. Imagines narrative where none exists. It’s in the design of the brain itself. It’s primed to lie.”

Many winks at political correctness, not that Scalzi is not a true believer but he’s maintaining a fig leaf of independence. Well-disguised and interesting information dumps, but info dumps nonetheless. Still, a good read, if you can stand the vocabulary. If you can’t, you may not be his target audience.

“It makes the [redacted] feel like it’s the universe commenting on our choice.”

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