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@Download Kindle Ø The Age of Scorpio å Of all the captains based out of Arclight only Eldon Sloper was desperate enough to agree to a salvage job in Red Space And now he and his crew are living to regret his desperation In Red Space the rules are different Some things work, others don t Best to stick close to the Church beacons Don t get lost Because there s something wrong about Red Space Something beyond rational Something vampyricLong after The Loss mankind is different We touch the world via neunonics We are machines, we are animals, we are hybrids But some things never change A Killer is paid to kill, a Thief will steal countless lives A Clone will find insanity, an Innocent a new horror The Church knows we have kept our sins Gavin Smith s new SF novel is an epic slam bang ride through a terrifyingly different future Tout Bob Morane. Tome 1 others don t Best to stick close to the Church beacons Don t get lost Because there s something wrong about Red Space Something beyond rational Something vampyricLong after The Loss mankind is different We touch the world via neunonics We are machines AMOUR BONHEUR et tout le tralala ! we are animals L'électronique en pratique, tome 2 : 36 expériences ludiques, volume 2 we are hybrids But some things never change A Killer is paid to kill A Kids Guide To Staying Safe Around Water a Thief will steal countless lives A Clone will find insanity Revue technique automobile an Innocent a new horror The Church knows we have kept our sins Gavin Smith s new SF novel is an epic slam bang ride through a terrifyingly different future Almost 5 stars apart from the regular incoherence of it, which might be solved by book two It s muchoriginal than his first derivative but well written stuff, he s finding his feet really well but it s properly hard going Ultra violence like recent Neal Asher with the no holds spared nonsense of Hannu Rajaniemi I m so glad I have the second book to get into rather than a wait as that would make me cross. Now, before I write my review, I should say that, generally, I m a big fan of Gavin Smith s work I loved Veteran and enjoyed War in Heaven But The Age of Scorpio was awful It wasn t even worthy of a 1 star review, and if you could give a book half a star then I would have.The blurb on the back of the book is almost misleading The character Eldon Sloper lasts for around 100 pages, if that There is no mention of Church beacons in red space that I can recall But I will say, starts out gener Now, before I write my review, I should say that, generally, I m a big fan of Gavin Smith s work I loved Veteran and enjoyed War in Heaven But The Age of Scorpio was awful It wasn t even worthy of a 1 star review, and if you could give a book half a star then I would have.The blurb on the back of the book is almost misleading The character Eldon Sloper lasts for around 100 pages, if that There is no mention of Church beacons in red space that I can recall But I will say, starts out generally pretty well.The book has a feeling as though its been written by Gavin and M.D, Lachlan, which is no bad thing The three interweaving timelines are an interesting concept, past, present and future However, that s pretty much where the good parts of the book cease to exist.Some of the characters are fairly well developed, some are poorly done The two main antagonists in the future, Scab and Vic are laughable Britha in the past starts out well but grows unlikeable as the book goes on, Beth and du Bois in the present start out interesting and end the book as the two best characters.The violence in the book, especially in the future is cringe worthy and almost embarrassing to read Time and time again a person has half their body is destroyed or they even die only to resurface whole again a few pages in due to the nanites in their bodies or by being cloned After just a few chapters it just becomes tedious and repetitive and loses the effect it could have if it happened only once or twice The reliance in the book on tech that could heal, or dull the pain or give you knowledge was just far too great.So many aspects that I m sure are vital to the story or universe are left unexplained within the book, meaning its impossible to fully understand what s going on It s as if this is the second book in a series with everything else having been explained in previous titles Having read the entire book I ve no idea was S Tech or L Tech is Not a clue what a P Sat or S Sat is, and for the life of me I can t understand what a blood screen is This all means that when you get to a part where these various things are mentioned you stop and wonder where the hell were they introduced The book becomes so monotonous that your mind has a tendency to wander whilst reading Before you know it you ve read two pages and not taken a word in and are forced to go back and read it all again Because so many things are left unexplained, whenever something is introduced and not explained , you think you ve drifted off again so go back to read the previous page and you realise that whatever it is hasn t ever been explained and the book makes less sense than it did previously leaving you confused, annoyed and frustrated.With about 60 pages to go, the previous 440 become totally irrelevant, pointless and flawed One of the main characters in the past, Fachtna, suddenly transforms into an all killing beast and his sword has the capabilities to cut through metal like butter Which begs the question, why did he just not kill all the bad guys early on by using this This aspect actually made me angry that I d bothered reading the book.The final thing I shall mention that was a constant annoyance, was Gavin s reliance on the oblique Time and again things had multiple names which were separated by an It was as if he couldn t decide what to call something, so just gave it as many names as he could Once or twice a book is fine, but almost every chapter is just laziness I m sorry Gavin, as I said, I loved Veteran and enjoyed WiH and recommended everyone I know buy them I ve met you and you re a really cool guy and I was so looking forward to this, but it was just tedious drivel I ve read a ton of books this year Hands down, this is the worst traditionally published book I ve read this year I had two primary complaints structure and content of a violent and sexual nature Structurally, the book is split over three different eras ancient BCE history, the present day, and the far future Fair enough, the story told is a big one, and the three eras each have a major part of the story But the way the eras presented is interwoven The chapters alternate Far future, far I ve read a ton of books this year Hands down, this is the worst traditionally published book I ve read this year I had two primary complaints structure and content of a violent and sexual nature Structurally, the book is split over three different eras ancient BCE history, the present day, and the far future Fair enough, the story told is a big one, and the three eras each have a major part of the story But the way the eras presented is interwoven The chapters alternate Far future, far past, and then present It follows this pattern through pretty much the entire book I think the book would have been better presented by breaking it into three parts past, present, and future and presenting it in larger chunks As it is, I had a hard time keeping track of the three different story lines It was also hard keeping my interest level up I very nearly just skipped around sequentially, but that would have been breaking the rule of the book The author thought the story should be presented in this way, and so he did And it was an absolute failure.Second, the story was just gratuitous I have no issues with violence or sexual content in a story But it s got to serve a purpose Every single chapter would have extended scenes of violence It would get to be repetitive and, frankly, boring If the violence had been usedsparingly and there had beenfocus on character development and world building, the book would have been so much better Also, if there had been some actual romantic development rather than sex just for the sake of titillation, I would ve been farinterested Instead, the sex invoked an odd Clive Barker esque sense of revulsion in me Like it was there only to be depraved and horrific I ve only ever read one Warhammer novel Fulgrim by Graham McNeill I didn t like it But Age of Scorpio reminded me a lot of Fulgrim in terms of feel and I liked it even less It s as though Smith was auditioning for a spot on the Warhammer roster The kindle version of the book was low priced, and I think I know why Gavin Smith writes excellent military influenced Space Opera and looking at this book s cover you might assume that s what you re getting but you re not You are getting some excellent writing he s really coming on as a writer and there is a far future crazy space opera strand to this novel, but there is also a contemporary thriller strand, and an Iron Age epic quest strand.Despite my love of Space Opera, it was the other two strands which gripped me Both had complex and unusual main charact Gavin Smith writes excellent military influenced Space Opera and looking at this book s cover you might assume that s what you re getting but you re not You are getting some excellent writing he s really coming on as a writer and there is a far future crazy space opera strand to this novel, but there is also a contemporary thriller strand, and an Iron Age epic quest strand.Despite my love of Space Opera, it was the other two strands which gripped me Both had complex and unusual main characters with clear goals and a whole lot of fascinating weird shit to go through in trying to achieve them Beth, the main character for the current day strand, is a woman of amazing resilience looking for her errant sister in the Iron Age we ve got the shaman wise woman of a clan, but with a number of brilliant twists, some related to Clarke s Third Law.Most of this book was a wild and enjoyable ride however, I was worried about how or even if the strands would be tied up at the end, and unfortunately my fears were justified which is why it gets 4, not 5, stars Forstick thumpery on the ending, see below after the spoiler alert banner I should also, with my craft of writing head on, say there were some stylistic quirks which bugged me, the main one being the excessive use of the past perfect, or, as the layperson might say, too much had and not enough be I m also not a great fan of shifting viewpoints within scenes, though this is handled well SPOILER ALERT It may be me, but at the end I was left not much wiser about what was going on than I was about half way through You ve got some sort of war through time but I wasn t clear what the stakes, tokens or even sides were in this war Something to do with command of hyperspace travel using a hive being egg thing with, for some reason, an ordinary human in And the end of the world in our time, but then, how come there is a future strand at all I didn t need every loose end tied up, but I did need a fewlinks between the strands, a few clues even some of those I thought I puzzled out, such as the main character in the Iron Age strand turning up in modern day Portsmouth, turned out not to be what they seemed Most frustrating But evenso, those well drawn and interesting characters all died without achieving their aims I ve no trouble with killing characters I do it myself and sometimes they won t win , but having every strand end in failure and death destruction made this book ultimately unsatisfying