Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blind: A Book Review

Good morning and a fine new four day work week to all of you here in the States! The internet at my house, sadly, is apparently going to not be installed until Thursday, so only limited updates from me until then! I did finish the Enforcer Omnibus over the weekend, of which Blind is the final installment.
Blind is the story of a disgraced Shira Calpurnia investigating the murder of the Master of the Bastion Astropathica, a floating fortress in the reaches of the Hydraphur system dedicated to the use and containment of an Astropathic relay system. There are a few plusses and minuses on this one, so bear with me.

PROS:
  • The Astropathicus. Everything you ever wanted to know about astropaths, but were afraid or didn't care enough to ask. I kid. Sort of. I'm not terribly interested in Astropaths, but there might be some folks out there who are.
  • 1st Class Whodunit. It really is a perplexing mystery, which breaks down in a way a case only can in the Grim Dark Future.
  • Gun Battle...In...Spaaaaace! Yeah, there is a pretty decent running gun battle between the station's Arbite contingent and some mysterious assailants in the corridors and docking bays on the bastion. Cool stuff.
CONS:
  • Mixed Perspective. A good deal of impact is lost from that potentially awesome gun battle I referenced earlier simply by dint of the fact that the telling of it is split between a group of observers, only some of whom know what the heck is going on. That's kind of aggravating.
  • Ambiguous Ending. As the book closes, you don't really know what the future holds for the surviving characters, or if the events of the book helped or harmed them. I don't know if there is a Calpurnia book subsequent to this, and Blind is not really the concrete end to the story I was hoping for.
In summation, while I actually rather liked the three books included in this omnibus individually, they did not make a cohesive tale. Perhaps I have been spoiled of late reading the Gaunt's Ghosts Omnis, where Abnett's will bends the reader to his purpose. Be that as it may, while I liked the individual stories, I cannot whole-heartedly recommend the omnibus unless the reader meets certain criteria. If you are a hardcore enthusiast of Arbites, Rogue Traders, or Astropaths (is there such a thing as an astropath enthusiast?) this might be right up your alley.

1 comment:

Symmaccus said...

Interesting review, I might have to pick this one up just for the mystery aspect.

I know what you mean about there not being any Astropath Enthusiasts: there really isn't much to go on when it comes to Astropaths, but it's good to see some material about them.

~Sym