I think that's just about long enough, don't you? Enough people have told me they've finished the book now that I feel as though I can host a discussion here, chock full of spoilers, without regret.
Warning though, there’ll probably be heaps of spoilers.
I remembered just the other day that there was a long delay between sending off my first draft of The Cruel Stars, and getting the editorial note back, like maybe a year. Turned out that Random House was in the middle of merger negotiations with Penguin when I sent my big slab o’ words off, so I guess that's not surprising. But it reminds me how long I've been working on this series. Because The Shattered Skies was similarly delayed, but this time not by the publisher and not by me. That was all Miss Rona.
I remember being very grateful that I didn't have to launch a book in the middle of a pandemic, and then whoops, I had to launch a book in the middle of a pandemic.
Still, it's not nearly as difficult as launching a book the day after Christmas, eh Pan Mac?
The main thing is, I'm happy with it. Second books in a trilogy are always difficult. You don't have the excitement of the origin story to carry you along, and you can't really resolve anything because it's not the final book in the series.
Knowing all of this I had a couple of goals for The Shattered Skies. I wanted a story that could stand on its own. I wanted to explore the consequences of everything that happened in The Cruel Stars. And I wanted to humanise the enemy, even though they are inhuman monsters. One way of doing that was to create a character like Anders Revel, whom the readers could cheer for, at least as long as he was going up against Prosecutor Major Skomo. The other was to show us the Sturm through the eyes of a character who could be sympathetic to them because from his point of view they actually did come as liberators. So we spent some time with Lucinda's father. There is a nice bonus payoff from that – all the complications that arise in book three because of that connection.
But, anyway, I'm not here to review my own work. That's for you to do. And it better be an 88 star review.
Well I loved it. It felt like it was almost nonstop in a battle space which kept it rolling along nicely, and omfg I died in such a cool way. Not just the weapon but the manner in which it happened. ‘Welcome to Scotland’ was so deadpan but just so perfect. It was tempered by the knowledge that I probably wouldn’t be dead for long, not just being who I am but that Hero had been pestering him all through the book.
On the other side I did find a couple of typos. Not terrible, not even spelled wrong, just the wrong word.
first I gotta say.....whats with all these subeditors around here, aren't you all meant to be camped out over at Patron???? :)
second thought (well first on the story) is for me the sturm are not so much as inhuman monsters, they just got a different point of view. Sure they have the ol authoritarian culture and political structure, but what you showed me through this book is that they just don't go in for all the techo augmentation to ones person, nor for the rampant corporate capitalism that defines the greater volume.
Looking at the lives of those you fleshed out on the habs in the combine space, and even in the "enlightend" montanblanc empire (I mean come'on they own all the peeps on Montrachet), it seems that the "good guys" way of life is only good if you part of the elite fraction or perhaps the Armadilian empire (at least in the military). Maybe the sturm are onto something?
because of all that I love it. The plot is nuanced, complex and contradictory, nothing so simple as there's the good guys and over there are the bad guys .....yaaawwwwwnnn.
The other thing that impressed me with that pivot in the story line is its fresh. I feared there would be a resurgence of the sturm, more suffering for the protagonists to the point of almost being beaten/wiped out (guess that's been mostly done already), before the final resurgence/redemption/win for the good guys story arc in the third novel.
this path keeps me well interested as there are many paths the story could take and I don't know any of them!!!!
I'm really into Suprarto's character and the culture of the Javan empire (another bunch of authoritarian hierarchical whackjobs no?)... and lets no forget the crazy AI based on a 9 year old kid, fucking epic!
only downside for me is I missed the Taylor Swift reference, I'm gonna have to go look it up so I know what your talking about then read the book again.
Are we also discussing the Tay Tay reference?
Another triumph in thinky explody goodness, bravo. I want to raise mine and others use of the term Space Nazis to refer to the Sturm. Whilst I will continue to use this sobriquet I admit that its use in the vernacular relies more on the term Nazi to become a catch all phrase for the extreme political opposite of what you (and in my case) personally desire than an accurate political description.
If we take to be a Nazi there is a requirement to be a fascist then the Sturm cannot be considered fascist in the rigorous philosophical meaning of the word.
If we take fascism as outlined by the historian Stanley G. Payne in his 1980 book "Fascism, Comparison and Definition" it focuses on three concepts: "Fascist negations"– anti-liberalism, anti-communism, and anti-conservatism. "Fascist goals" – the creation of a nationalist dictatorship to regulate economic structure and to transform social relations within a modern, self-determined culture, and the expansion of the nation into an empire. "Fascist style" – a political aesthetic of romantic symbolism, mass mobilization, a positive view of violence, and promotion of masculinity, youth, and charismatic authoritarian leadership.
Yet The Sturm as noted in Chapter 12 of The Shattered Skies the Sturn officer Captain REVELL observes "It would be quite the challenge, he imagined, rebuilding an interstellar economy that had undergone the equivalent of a workers' revolution. All the owners of capital and most of the hired janissaries were gone now".
This would appear to contradict one of fascisms foundation principles/negations.
The Strum are certainly ‘racial’ purists like the and I certainly include this call to a single ethnostate within the above goals to create a single ‘culture’ characteristic of the Nazis this while necessary is not a sufficient condition to define them as nazis.
Though I am still going to refer to them as Space Nazis because if I may paraphrase Joliet Jake “I hate space nazis”.
I’m seriously thinking about waiting for the third book and reading them back to back to make triple the fun.
Time line for the third book ?
And are you from the red or blue side of Liverpool?
Great read. Loved it. Been waiting for it to arrive and it was well worth it. Great story telling, nice use of Revell to create some empathy to their cause. Great character building and relationship building. As an ex soldier and 20 years in the mil and AI tech field you take visionary mil tech to the next level. Looking forward to the next book. Love to see the series as a movie or netflix series with a massive budget. We’ll done. 👊🏽🤙🏽
US checking in. I thought the book was good, but not as good as the Cruel Stars, which was great. Probably related to the pitfalls inherent in the middle of a series. Things that I weren't expecting was the damaged Intellect on the space station and the Pac Yulin bampot. Looking forward to the next book from whatever series is currently in the chamber.
While we’re at it…
Having won this signal concession I must press on for more.
“Yeah,” he shouted back. “They want the boxes. They’ll puts boots on the deck to take them.”