Annihilation Aria (The Space Operas, #1)
An exuberant space opera that dares us to lose ourselves in battle songs and nonstop action!A woman who can wield a weapon like a song and her voice like a weapon. A man who can out-think any problem. A pilot who can outmaneuver the best of them. Lahra, Max, and Wheel live and work aboard the Kettle, salvaging artifacts from dangerous galactic ruins to keep scraping by.But those artifacts can unlock an ancient power which threatens the iron-fisted rule of the galaxy’s imperialist overlords, the Vsenk. To protect their dominion, the Vsenk have humbled entire civilizations. They eat ships like the Kettle and her found family for breakfast.Lahra, Max, and Wheel are each just trying to get home to the lives they lost, but they’ll have to evade space fascists, kick-start a rebellion, and save the galaxy first to do it.Board the Kettle for a space opera like none you’ve ever read before; an adventure of galactic subterfuge, ancient alien lore, a secret resistance force, lost civilizations, and giant space turtles.

Annihilation Aria (The Space Operas, #1) Details

TitleAnnihilation Aria (The Space Operas, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 11th, 2020
PublisherParvus Press
ISBN-139781733811958
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Space, Space Opera, Literature, 21st Century

Annihilation Aria (The Space Operas, #1) Review

  • Bradley
    January 1, 1970
    When it comes to space operas, one generally doesn't think of things like actual SINGING, but I have to admit this is a welcome addition to the corpus of this subgenre. Add to it some fairly oddball settings/characters, a massive space-nod to Indiana Jones, and transform the first half of the novel into an outright quest to save the universe from the empire, including space battles, more singing, and the optimism inherent in fighting fascism, and you've got yourself a fun book.So why aren't I gi When it comes to space operas, one generally doesn't think of things like actual SINGING, but I have to admit this is a welcome addition to the corpus of this subgenre. Add to it some fairly oddball settings/characters, a massive space-nod to Indiana Jones, and transform the first half of the novel into an outright quest to save the universe from the empire, including space battles, more singing, and the optimism inherent in fighting fascism, and you've got yourself a fun book.So why aren't I giving this an enthusiastic 5-star rating? Because for all its internal enthusiasm and SF-blockbuster movie ethos, it has, unfortunately, all been done before. All that's left is a tale that must do the old thing BETTER than all the ones before it and this one -- while definitely fun -- isn't the beat-all of the genre. There is a LOT of space operas out there. Still, if you're looking for something new in the subgenre, I definitely think you ought to check this out. :) Expect adventure. :)
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  • Dyrk Ashton
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this from the author himself! I haven't read any sci-fi in awhile, but this really scratched the itch. Not just great science fiction, but great fun too.
  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    I decided to give this author another chance, even though the previous book of his I'd reviewed ( Celebromancy ) had significant issues, because it also had signs of potential. He's written a number of books since then, and authors generally do improve with practice. I gave that previous book three stars because, to me, the negatives and the positives balanced each other out. I considered advancing this one to four stars, because despite the fact that the same issues are still there, I did end I decided to give this author another chance, even though the previous book of his I'd reviewed ( Celebromancy ) had significant issues, because it also had signs of potential. He's written a number of books since then, and authors generally do improve with practice. I gave that previous book three stars because, to me, the negatives and the positives balanced each other out. I considered advancing this one to four stars, because despite the fact that the same issues are still there, I did end up enjoying it towards the end, and there's still a lot of good stuff. But ultimately I decided that it doesn't quite make it to four stars. It's a higher three than Celebromancy, though.It's frustrating to read a book by an author who clearly has some ability, but hasn't polished the book to be all it could be. I felt this with some of Max Gladstone's early novels, which showed tremendous imagination let down by some basic weaknesses. This book has the same problem, though it's not as vividly imaginative as Gladstone's. There are some strengths, definitely. The biggest one for me was the fact that the main antagonist gets a viewpoint and becomes a relatable character; he's caught up in the system just as much as anyone. Even if he has a position of privilege relative to the protagonists, he's at the bottom of the heap as far as his own people are concerned. He really just wants to go home and be with his family. This was well done, and if everything else about the book had been at or near the same level, it could have been knocking on the door of five stars. But it wasn't. I noted in my review of Celebromancy that it was full of continuity issues. That seems to be a problem for this author, because this book is riddled with them too. I read a pre-release version from Netgalley, and there's a chance that some will be fixed before publication (the publisher contacted me after I published this review and asked for my notes, which I provided), but they are numerous and pervasive, especially early on. A bit of exposition is given twice. A decisive moment in a scene happens twice. A character returning to Genos, the destroyed planet of her ancestors, wonders if she's the first of her people ever to do so, because "no stories of those returns survived in the diaspora", and then two pages later is reminiscing about multiple stories her mother told her of previous people who returned there. The largest continuity issue, however, and the one that would be hardest to fix, because it leaves a plot hole regardless of which way you work it, is about the destruction of that planet. At the 58% mark, the nature of the planet-destroyer is revealed (I won't spoil that revelation here), and we're told that there were actually two weapons, one which destroyed the planet Atlan and was then hidden, and an inferior duplicate that was later used to destroy Genos because the Imperials didn't have access to the first one and had spent centuries coming up with an imitation. Later in the book, though, we're told that the same weapon was used to destroy both planets; it's part of what motivates a character. Whichever version of the story you use, you have to explain why the Imperials don't still have the weapon used to destroy Genos (whether it's the original or the copy). And this isn't ever addressed. They just don't have the weapon. Apart from the issues with continuity, there were a remnant number of copy editing issues (vocabulary errors, apostrophe errors, mispunctuated dialog, dangling modifiers, lots of excess hyphens) which escaped despite the "meticulous" copy edits the author references in his acknowledgements. Again, I've provided my notes to the publisher, and these could be fixed by publication time, but the sheer number of them means that not only did the editor miss a lot, I've also inevitably missed some - and it also means that the original manuscript must have been incredibly messy. The best predictor of a clean book is an author who doesn't make these mistakes in the first place.There are other weaknesses which dropped the rating for me, too. The author also acknowledges an editor who pushed him; I don't think she pushed him hard enough, because a lot of the book is just bland. The worldbuilding is mostly bland, standard space opera stuff. The characters are bland, and there's not much to them that doesn't come either from their archetypes or their specific roles in the plot. The language is bland, unremarkable except where it glitches. The author mentions at the end that the inspiration for the book was the movie Guardians of the Galaxy. But to me, a lot of what made Guardians of the Galaxy enjoyable is missing. It's not over the top; there are some sensawunda moments, but they're generic and, to me, forgettable. The characters are not a set of damaged loners who bicker and fight their way to eventual cohesion as a team in the face of a threat that brings out the best in their previously grungy characters; they're already a team at the start. The married couple (we're told repeatedly and shown occasionally) are devoted to one another. They only really have one argument in the entire book, which seems to be there to raise the tension during the only time they're separated, in a well-worn trope. They get on well with their pilot, too. They all have difficult backstories, which are all more to do with belonging to oppressed peoples than anything specific to them as individuals, but they seem to have coped well with their challenges and become functional adults. Which is great, and it's good to see a functioning marriage and a functioning team; but it's nothing like Guardians. And the so-called "banter"; on a scale of zero to Whedon, it would barely shift the needle on the bantermeter. It's notably weak. A few pop culture references are there, but they're more influences from earlier stories, and things like the female tomb raider of the couple being named Lhara. I don't know if John Carter was a conscious influence on Max (sole Earth-human character provided for means of audience identification, transported to space locale by mysterious means - in Max's case, an unexpected, one-way and apparently unique teleportation device discovered on an archaeological dig in Atlantean/ancient-alien ruins), but that's who he reminded me of. Though he's not a fighter at all, but very much an academic who leaves the fighting to his warrior wife. I prefer it that these influences are subtle, but I'd also like to see something different, something fresh, done with them. The worst features of space opera are here: ridiculously short travel times (at one point, an interstellar trip that is specifically being made not in "warp space" takes 20 days; at another point, a distance specifically described as "light years" is going to be covered in hours, also outside warp space), lasers knock a ship into a spin, and gravity, when wielded as a weapon, is, apparently, purple and silver for cinematic purposes. Giant space turtles (with flippers, whatever those would do) drift on solar winds but cover interstellar distances also in compressed timeframes. But it doesn't have the zest and zing of, say, Tim Pratt's space operas, or - again - Guardians of the Galaxy. It's all pretty much by the numbers, except when it stumbles or fumbles. Overall, then, while I can still see unrealized potential that could be brought out with more work and focus, this book fell short for me, and doesn't inspire me to read a sequel or others of the author's works. I received a copy via Netgalley for review.
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  • Rekka
    January 1, 1970
    Overlay the adventure and romance of 1999's The Mummy onto the space shenanigans and color palette of Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor Ragnarok. I cannot tell you how delightful it is to have a couple in Max and Lahra who show immense respect and love for each other despite their cultural and goal-oriented differences. The plot's drama is external to their marriage, allowing their love to give them strength rather than hold them back, and watching them lift each other up to power through the end Overlay the adventure and romance of 1999's The Mummy onto the space shenanigans and color palette of Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor Ragnarok. I cannot tell you how delightful it is to have a couple in Max and Lahra who show immense respect and love for each other despite their cultural and goal-oriented differences. The plot's drama is external to their marriage, allowing their love to give them strength rather than hold them back, and watching them lift each other up to power through the end of the book was immensely satisfying.The publisher provided me with an Advance Review Copy of this novel but my review is my own.
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  • Michael Underwood
    January 1, 1970
    A found-family space opera in the tradition of Guardians of the Galaxy, Firefly, Star Wars, Farscape, and more.I wrote this book over the course of several years, often as a back-burner project. It grew in revision both in size and in substance, and I'm very proud to see it into the world as probably the best novel I've written to date.
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  • Francisco
    January 1, 1970
    While the premise of the book seems fun and exiting, I just couldn't dive into it. This book takes place in space, but is that excuse enough to put the word 'space' before things, concepts or even animals? Space locust? Space magic? Space turtles? That really ruined it for me.The author has great ideas, but I think he didn't dig deeper to develop them. So here goes.The story. Aside the flagrant continuity issues, could have been a lot better, it wasn't: space good guys fight against the tyranny While the premise of the book seems fun and exiting, I just couldn't dive into it. This book takes place in space, but is that excuse enough to put the word 'space' before things, concepts or even animals? Space locust? Space magic? Space turtles? That really ruined it for me.The author has great ideas, but I think he didn't dig deeper to develop them. So here goes.The story. Aside the flagrant continuity issues, could have been a lot better, it wasn't: space good guys fight against the tyranny of space bad guys. Meanwhile other space good guys that are also space tomb raiders, look for "Atlan" artifacts to sell on the black market, led by an American man that gets thrown into the mix -we are told, since he's there from the start- by some advanced technology, from the almost extinct Atlans, which is hidden on some of Earth's recently discovered Atlantis ruins. The space good guys that are also space tomb raiders, find a weapon that the space bad guys want, so the chase begins.You keep wondering from the start why intelligent species on space, speak english. That is, until the second quarter of the book, when the author remembers to tell us that the Earth man is actually really good at languages and dialects, since he's an archaeologist (O.o), and is in fact speaking the aliens' various languages.The human is also married to an alien life form. She's -conveniently- too similar to him, compatible even, except, we are told, for her height. She's one or two feet taller than he is. She's sort of a warrior that fights using "space magic" songs and a sword that needs recharging.The tech behind the novel is mostly borrowed from known sci fi TV shows and books. Warp engines, force fields, I could go on.The characters are as thin as paper. Conveniently revealing strengths as needed, but not really growing. What you read about them in the first few pages is all you get, as far as development goes. To be fair, the main antagonist turns out to be a bit more interesting than the rest of the cast, but not by much.The weapon of mass destruction issue is quite the example of what continuity means to the author.There's a planet killer weapon in the space bad guy's arsenal, and it is a copy of one created by the Atlans ages ago. The space bad guys used their copy to destroy the Atlans and to presently keep all space good guys in check. It pains me to say that the space bad guys have the weapon and then suddenly, they need the original weapon because -Really?!- they don't have the one they created and used. This comes with not even a hint of an explanation, like "the copy was destroyed because it overheated" or "our weapons' warehouse is a mess and we can't find it." No. The author ignores the fact that it has been used, because all of a sudden, it doesn't exists.I could go on with my rant, I wont, if you're reading this I think you suffered long enough. Suffice to say that I didn't enjoyed reading this book and had to force myself to finish it.
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  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    Annihilation Aria is a space opera that wears its heart (and its optimism) on its sleeve. Following the adventures of the Kettle and its crew of imperfect-but-deeply-likable characters is like hanging out with a group of old friends.With the kind of found family strength and support that I love about Becky Chambers's Wafarers series and Farscape, Annihilation Aria is a galaxy-spanning tale punctuated by small, emotionally honest moments. It's filled with thoughtful observations and layered chara Annihilation Aria is a space opera that wears its heart (and its optimism) on its sleeve. Following the adventures of the Kettle and its crew of imperfect-but-deeply-likable characters is like hanging out with a group of old friends.With the kind of found family strength and support that I love about Becky Chambers's Wafarers series and Farscape, Annihilation Aria is a galaxy-spanning tale punctuated by small, emotionally honest moments. It's filled with thoughtful observations and layered characterizations, but also with Indiana Jones-style adventure archaeology, space combat, and bad-ass sword fights. In short: it's smart, skillful, and a whole lot of fun. Exactly what I look for in a space opera!
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  • J.A. Ironside
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewThis took me a very long time to read because I had buddy reads and life busy-ness resulting in me having to keep putting the book down. IMO that's not the best way to read this book - you should probably devour it in two or three sittings, thereby benefitting from the momentum of the plot rather than having to rediscover it every time.It sounds like mean praise to say 'this did exactly what it said on the tin' but I am honestly being qu ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewThis took me a very long time to read because I had buddy reads and life busy-ness resulting in me having to keep putting the book down. IMO that's not the best way to read this book - you should probably devour it in two or three sittings, thereby benefitting from the momentum of the plot rather than having to rediscover it every time.It sounds like mean praise to say 'this did exactly what it said on the tin' but I am honestly being quite warm and effusive. Not every book has to be full of challenge and surprise. Sometimes you want to know exactly what you're getting. It's an unfortunate bit of snobbery which has bled across from people who read literary fiction just because it's literary; that books which hit the tropes of their chosen genres and deliver exactly the dopamine rush a reader wants are somehow inferior. (Imagine this attitude applied to dining out. You don't want every burger or plate of sushi to be an adventure which you may or may not enjoy. If you're looking for familiar food that you enjoy, then you want a burger to fall within a given narrow set of parameters. Similarly, if you order a burger or a steak, you don't want the chef to send you Sea Urchin linguine.) I am aware I have really gone around the houses to avoid seeming to damn this book with faint praise so let's get on.Underwood says in the acknowledgements that tis book arose from a desire to write something that made him feel like watching Guardians of the Galaxy. And that is what it does. A band of loveable misfits on a unlovely junkyard find of a ship, travel the galaxy, making ends meet by discovering ancient artefacts and selling them. This is no easy task in a galaxy oppressed under the Vsenk empire. Of the crew, we have:Max - an archaeologist and linguist from earth who found himself in the wrong galaxy when he accidentally activated an Atlantean artefact.Lahra - a Genoan bodyguard of the soldier cast, who kicks some serious ass.Wheel - an Atlan pilot, queer, grumpy and cybernetically enhancedCruji - undefined slime exuding beastie, bit like a furbie but with tentacles and empathic. (The ship's cat, kind of.)The story gets going when the trio discover ancient Atlan artefacts which the Vsenk are keen to get their hands on. Vsenk, by the way, are enormous spacefaring instectile creatures with multiple limbs and tentacles, feathers and a culture that respects only strength in the form of cruelty and conquest. Everything goes down the toilet for the crew of the Kettle and they find themselves on the run with Vsenk agent, Arek, hot on their heels. I won't spoil the plot but it's a fun space set adventure story peopled with strange non-human creatures, different cultures, and a quest to find out what the artefacts are. It definitely calls to mind Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, Firefly and similar space opera adventures. One neat twist is that Lahra's people encourage the manipulation of matter and put heart in flagging troops by singing the songs of her people. This was a nice touch in terms of building the Genai culture and history as well as giving us a science-y type of magic. This is very light on science. Honestly if you're expecting hard sci-fi, you've got the wrong book. This is first and foremost an adventure story about found family. Descriptions of alien species are via Max's pov and are deliberately a little vague. (The Drell and the Great Migration are my favourite!) My one criticism is that we never really seem to be deep in any of the pov character's heads. I didn't really feel what they felt. Then again, this light and entertaining read is not primarily designed for deep pov and emotional resonance.All in all a very enjoyable read. Recommended for those who enjoyed Firefly, Star Wars and GotG.
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  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. I love light space opera, but I was underwhelmed with this novel. It’s frustrating that I couldn’t like it more because it has a lot of things I love: female characters who are people and not just tag-along girlfriends, cool weapons, respectful romantic relationships, and alien cultures. Unfortunately, nothing about it was particularly innovative. I think the main issue is that it feels like “book 2”. Instead of getting to watch I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. I love light space opera, but I was underwhelmed with this novel. It’s frustrating that I couldn’t like it more because it has a lot of things I love: female characters who are people and not just tag-along girlfriends, cool weapons, respectful romantic relationships, and alien cultures. Unfortunately, nothing about it was particularly innovative. I think the main issue is that it feels like “book 2”. Instead of getting to watch a team grow and come together despite their differences, Max, Lahra and Wheel are already a functioning trio. Their dynamic is … a little boring. The reason why Guardians of the Galaxy (which the author mentions in his afterward) is so much fun is because the team doesn’t get along. It’s another reason why I also loved The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Firefly, and pretty much every other sci-fi book/movie about a small group on a spaceship. If the dialogue had been snappy this might have been ok, but there’s nothing memorable about what I hesitate to call banter (aside from one time when Max references Fresh Prince). What’s even more frustrating is that their dynamic could have been made more interesting as Max's fish-out-of-water story or an unorthodox alien-Terran romance (though it barely qualifies, as she’s basically human), but we are denied both of these as Max has acclimatized and the romance is already built and is the victim of a lot of telling and not showing. It seems that Max’s Terran background is included for three reasons: to make cultural comparisons re: discrimination, to provide allusions to earth popular culture, and to make it easy to identify with him, yet as much as these worked I didn’t find they contributed to advancing the story. The story does pick up considerably around the 40% mark when we get a new perspective - that of the antagonist. This gave the story much-needed depth and interest, as this character has a different perspective and his chapters provide interesting background on the villains. I perked up whenever a chapter title started with his name. And then the novel goes full “save the world from a doomsday weapon” and I continued simply to finish, especially after what seemed like a big continuity error on behalf of the weapon. I’m still giving it 3 out of 5, because it had a great deal of potential, and I did like certain things about it, but the things I did like didn’t outweigh the rest enough to bump it to 4. I did think the title was rather clever given Lahra’s powers and the doomsday weapon.
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  • Kristjan
    January 1, 1970
    Conceptually this was an interesting read. The author has stated that he was inspired by The Guardians of the Galaxy and I can definitely the “comic book” influence. The story was relatively straight forward, if rather silly and simple at times; the characters tended to be caricatures and fairly shallow with little to no development over the course of the story. The plot had no real surprises here, and for a fun, casual read, that is all okay. I was actually super impressed that the author was a Conceptually this was an interesting read. The author has stated that he was inspired by The Guardians of the Galaxy and I can definitely the “comic book” influence. The story was relatively straight forward, if rather silly and simple at times; the characters tended to be caricatures and fairly shallow with little to no development over the course of the story. The plot had no real surprises here, and for a fun, casual read, that is all okay. I was actually super impressed that the author was able to portray an ongoing, stable relationship (aka the love birds) when most seem to see relationships as an easy source of conflict/drama. I also found the indirect reference to Atlantis fascinating. There are other interesting ideas that the author introduces along the way; however, I felt he missed as often as he hit my interest. For example … cyborgs are kool … combining letters into unpronounceable sequences to illustrate how alien something is not so much (I hate this with a passion as it drastically slows down my reading speed OR prompts me to increase my scan speed). Likewise, the author throughs in a veritable soup of tech terms that seem to highlight his complete lack of understanding of what those terms actually mean (so not much research on this apparently). For example … he talks about questioning the heterodoxy when by definition, such a statement is an oxymoron. Compile is an action or process … it is not a techie language. Finally … I was not interested in the Vsenk POV at all; but then I can only manage a handful of POV changes before getting irritated, so YMMV. Oh .,. and while I absolutely love happily ever after endings ... this one seemed to ignore the idea that while the big bad was neutralized, there was another less powerful cousin still out there that is basically the same threat to good everywhere ... and this was compeletely ignored at the end. Despite all of that, it was a relatively light and fun read.I was given this free advanced reader's copy ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. #annihilationaria #NetGalley
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Full disclosure: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.Annihilation Aria follows the crew of the Kettle, a small, scrappy band of adventurers hunting artifacts. A job takes them to an ancient tomb, where they score several artifacts. While trying to make their escape, however, they’re intercepted by a Vsenk patrol ship and lose all but one of the artifacts. Hunted by the Vsenk, an alien species that rules a fascist empire and that evidently wants tha Full disclosure: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.Annihilation Aria follows the crew of the Kettle, a small, scrappy band of adventurers hunting artifacts. A job takes them to an ancient tomb, where they score several artifacts. While trying to make their escape, however, they’re intercepted by a Vsenk patrol ship and lose all but one of the artifacts. Hunted by the Vsenk, an alien species that rules a fascist empire and that evidently wants that artifact very much, the band strives to stay one step ahead and identify what they’ve got and what to do with it.This book is kind of like Indiana Jones meets Star Wars, and I love it. It has the same joyful energy of those classic movies, set in a universe of colorfully-imagined aliens. To describe a couple, Lahra is a warrior of a nearly extinct species that basically has magical abilities powered by singing their people’s epic historical sagas, and Wheel is a cyborg pilot who can interface with her ship.Speaking of Lahra, I loved her relationship with her husband, Max (a human archaeologist who accidentally got himself teleported to Lahra’s galaxy while investigating an ancient alien artifact on Earth). It was refreshing to read a book in which two of the protagonists have a healthy marriage in which they respect each other’s abilities and support each other unconditionally. Fans of Becky Chambers’s Wayfarers series for its warmth and strong found family relationships will find a lot to enjoy here, as Max, Lahra, and Wheel work hard to build strong relationships with others on the outskirts of society like them.This book was a lot of fun and I’m eager to see where Underwood takes this series next. If you want a joyful space opera (literally, given Lahra’s abilities) with warm relationships and high stakes drama, look no further.
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  • OLeg89
    January 1, 1970
    Блог: https://olegeightnine.wordpress.com/2...Эта книга меня обманула. Я начинал ее под впечатлением, что она в каком-нибудь смысле будет про музыку. Со словом «Aria» в заголовке и раз стартующий с нее цикл называется «The Space Operas», это логичный вывод. И в числе протагонистов состоит воительница, бросающаяся в бой исполняя широкий арсенал магических песен.Не повторяйте моих ошибок.Теоретически «Annihilation Aria» есть ради чего посоветовать: это динамичное приключение про археолога с Земли, Блог: https://olegeightnine.wordpress.com/2...Эта книга меня обманула. Я начинал ее под впечатлением, что она в каком-нибудь смысле будет про музыку. Со словом «Aria» в заголовке и раз стартующий с нее цикл называется «The Space Operas», это логичный вывод. И в числе протагонистов состоит воительница, бросающаяся в бой исполняя широкий арсенал магических песен.Не повторяйте моих ошибок.Теоретически «Annihilation Aria» есть ради чего посоветовать: это динамичное приключение про археолога с Земли, телепортированного в другую галактику, упомянутой выше магической воительницы (дуэт, который extremely my shit) и киборга-пилота по имени Руль через гробницы, организованную преступность и свержение космической империи. Это несложная история для отдыха и развлечения в наше утомительное и жаркое время.Что главы слишком короткие и постоянно переключают точку зрения, сильно не идет на пользу раскрытию внутреннего мира главных героев (которого не то, чтобы много). И в целом я до самого конца не избавился от острого чувства «поверхностности». Например, нам постоянно говорят, что в этой галактике сотни видов населения в гуманоидном масштабе, но на практике мы видим одни и те же пять, два из которых — условно редкие (если мы делаем «Фарскейп», то как вообще можно без постоянного введения новых странных инопланетян?). Книга слишком резко прыгает между сюжетными линиями, предоставляя как можно больше поводов для разбавленных экспозицией экшен-сцен.Экшен-сцен очень много.Ни недостатков романа не является критическим, и я, может, слишком много требую от приключенческой космооперы с огромными космическими черепахами (космические черепахи — страшно хороши, нужно признать). Но персонажи ничем меня не зацепили, сеттинг не достаточно интересный/эксцентричный, и автор плохо описывает песни, ограничиваясь только темами и настроением, без даже цитат, и это не работает с местной важностью этих песен.Может, проблема в том, что несмотря на якобы приключенческую легкость почти все свои проблемы герои решают при помощи массовых убийств. Этот жанр, который требует shenanigans, и «Annihilation Aria» острая их нехватка.P.S.: Мне очень важно зафиксировать, что пилота зовут Руль: там «Wheel», и только под самый момент конец вдруг проскальзывает объяснение, что не это «Колесо», отчего у меня слегка сломался мозг.
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  • Harrison Schweiloch
    January 1, 1970
    I regularly read Seanan McGuire’s twitter. She often tweets about ARCs that she has read and enjoyed. I usually request those books from NetGalley, and I usually enjoy them. So when I saw Annihilation Aria, by Michael R. Underwood available, I requested an eARC of it. Sadly, Annihilation Aria did not work for me. Billed as a space opera, it felt more like space fantasy. It was long I’m tired tropes and short on new ideas and characterization. This book was all tell and no show. Two of the three I regularly read Seanan McGuire’s twitter. She often tweets about ARCs that she has read and enjoyed. I usually request those books from NetGalley, and I usually enjoy them. So when I saw Annihilation Aria, by Michael R. Underwood available, I requested an eARC of it. Sadly, Annihilation Aria did not work for me. Billed as a space opera, it felt more like space fantasy. It was long I’m tired tropes and short on new ideas and characterization. This book was all tell and no show. Two of the three main characters are supposed to be a married couple in love, but nothing they do ever makes me believe that they’re going steady, let alone married. The aliens have no distinguishing characteristics to differentiate them from each other. I was shocked when I found out that this was not the work of a first time author. In the acknowledgements, Mr. Underwood explains that he was trying to write a novel that recaptured the feel of the movie Guardians of the Galaxy (which to me feels much more cosmic comic than space opera, but I can see that that is a minor distinction). That made sense, since many of the story beats were lifted directly from that movie. The author also pats himself on the back for having his male protagonist be a black man from Baltimore, but absolutely nothing about the text made him seem any more than just a cipher, like all of the other characters. Furthermore, the third main character, not a member of the couple, a character named Wheel (get it? She’s a third wheel!), repeatedly betrays the couple’s trust by keeping massive secrets and nothing ever comes of it! The book is not all bad. It was mildly diverting but, overall, not worth your time.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I heard of this book thanks to a Big Idea piece on Whatever. I read the kindle sample, and opted not to buy the book.The Big Idea piece described this book as a space opera that explores what comes in a partnership after the happily ever after. That premise is definitely appealing to me, as I love character-driven SF. The main characters are a married couple: Max, an archaeologist and a black man from Earth; and Lahra, a member of her species's soldier caste, from Genae. They make their living r I heard of this book thanks to a Big Idea piece on Whatever. I read the kindle sample, and opted not to buy the book.The Big Idea piece described this book as a space opera that explores what comes in a partnership after the happily ever after. That premise is definitely appealing to me, as I love character-driven SF. The main characters are a married couple: Max, an archaeologist and a black man from Earth; and Lahra, a member of her species's soldier caste, from Genae. They make their living raiding archaeological sites and selling the findings to descendants of the conquered races.From the Kindle sample, this seems like a pretty standard action-heavy space opera. I found the narration a bit clunky -- very strong on tell-not-show. The opening description of Lahra was also a bit off-putting, as it was an info dump meant to make you think she's a total badass. It was male-gazey without being physically explicit.
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  • Brian Mcclain
    January 1, 1970
    Annihilation Aria was a fun book to read and a great introduction to an imaginative universe with unique aliens. The main characters are an Earthling named Max, an archaeologist, Lahra a Genae, a species who sing songs which have a tangible effect on their abilities especially when done in chorus, and Wheel, a ship's captain like none other. Max and Lahra are married, despite being of vastly different origins, and their relationship throughout and that of theirs with Wheel would rival the teamwo Annihilation Aria was a fun book to read and a great introduction to an imaginative universe with unique aliens. The main characters are an Earthling named Max, an archaeologist, Lahra a Genae, a species who sing songs which have a tangible effect on their abilities especially when done in chorus, and Wheel, a ship's captain like none other. Max and Lahra are married, despite being of vastly different origins, and their relationship throughout and that of theirs with Wheel would rival the teamwork and relationships in any number of stories. Since they're excavating artifacts under the nose of a fascist regime ruled by the horrific Vsenk, it definitely lends itself to comparisons with Star Wars, but besides that it's definitely in it's own universe.There's a lot of fun, a lot of action, some heartfelt moments, and all that together makes for a very entertaining space opera.Thanks NetGalley, Parvus Press, and Michael Underwood.
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    This impressively enthralling mixture of fantasy hued with magical battle songs and expansive science fiction set in a war torn universe haunted by its toil. Aboard a ship named the Kettle, Wheel, Max and Lahra journey across the wide galaxy discovery long dead ruins of ancient alien races; salvaging items that could be sold to survive. Sometimes it's the very ruins that could be deadly if they failed to complete the puzzles needed to be solved. A visual adventure with characters that won't be f This impressively enthralling mixture of fantasy hued with magical battle songs and expansive science fiction set in a war torn universe haunted by its toil. Aboard a ship named the Kettle, Wheel, Max and Lahra journey across the wide galaxy discovery long dead ruins of ancient alien races; salvaging items that could be sold to survive. Sometimes it's the very ruins that could be deadly if they failed to complete the puzzles needed to be solved. A visual adventure with characters that won't be forgotten, technology that is well detailed gives depth to the story. The plethora of aliens featured throughout are creative, funny and give the world the story is set lived in and realistic. Highly recommended.
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