lunes, 6 de junio de 2016

Creation Machine, by Andrew Bannister


(Disclaimer: English is my second language, so I want to apologize in advance for there may be mistakes in the text below. If you find any, please let me know so that I can correct it. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.)

Review Soundtrack: I suggest reading this review while listening to Machine of Creation, by Ryan Campogiani (Spotify).

I was really looking forward to Creation Machine, Andrew Bannister's debut novel. Prior to its release, I had read several very positive reviews and, in addition, I am always interested in space operas featuring big empires and alien artifacts. Apparently, the book had all the elements for me to love it. However, I regret to say that I was quite disappointed with what I found. 

There are some interesting elements in the novel, that can't be denied it. I really liked the idea of The Spin (although I have serious doubts about its stability), a system that includes in a reduced space (considering typical astronomical distances) many different stars and planets, something that reminds me of Akasa Puspa, the majestic Spanish science fiction saga. It provides a really appealing background and, of course, the mystery of its origin is interesting enough to intrigue the reader from the very first chapters. 

I did also like some of the characters as, for instance, Muz, especially because the unusual transformation he has suffered and the new capabilities he has acquired. But my favorite was Alameche, whose chapters are, in my opinion, the most interesting in the book and, thus, is a character that deserved much more space. 

Unfortunately, together with these virtues I also think that Creation Machine has some important problems. As I mentioned, I did like Alameche's thread, but I found the chapters in which the main protagonist is Fleare a bit boring. They are, mainly, chase scenes with not much tension or interest. Also, there are some coincidences with are almost too convenient and the use of flashbacks is not well timed, in my opinion. 

What is more, from some point on, there are certain chapters which are written with a different literary technique. Your mileage may vary, but I really disliked these parts of the novel. They try to reflect the events in some simulated realities, but I think they are both irrelevant and confusing, and from the moment they appeared, my interest, which had been steadily decreasing, disappeared almost completely. I kept on reading to see if there were any revelations about the architects of The Spin, but with no luck.

All in all, Creation Machine is a fairly short and easy to read novel with some attractive elements that are, by no means, fully exploited or explored. You might want to give it a try if you are looking for a space opera that is lighter in tone than the works of, say, Banks, Reynolds, Hamilton or Asher, but I wouldn't really recommend it.

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