Rating: 2 out of 5
A book is a method for conveying a story. This story fails at being conveyed, for it would take a detective to find several in-sequence paragraphs that are free of spelling mistakes or grammatical non-sequiturs. Not only do some of the side characters (apparently) change their appearance, names, gender, from one chapter into the next (Doctor Palin is a particularly glaring case throughout this series), it feels like no one re-read this book even once after being written.
The story? The story hasn’t remained with me. What has remained with me are the moments where I had to cringe during my read because again a word was missing, mis-spelled, or plain wrong. I was surprised by the ending, and indeed one plot-line which comes up in this book (Boudicca) could just as well have not existed.
I also don’t much like the existence of the gestalts. The theories that Earth and Priminae people put forth regarding the Empire are true, but what does it change? The first one was interesting, when it joined the book; the second one, felt a bit old really… Third? Fourth? Fifth? Sure, we essentially have another sentient species, but how does it all come together?
I might turn back at one moment to the original books as those were good for both the story and editing. But, somewhere along this series, the editing ball got dropped, and for me this means I don’t have the confidence in Mr Currie’s stories to pick another one up.