So.. Apotheosis… As always, here is my most honest review.
– Nice cover. It is very representative of the book.
– Some notions are thought provoking.
– Synopsis is way too long and sets too high of an expectation. I wish I could have gotten all the satisfaction and mind teasing it announces that I am supposed to feel.
– Now, my main issue. The writing. My first impression was that it was not very focused, sometimes quite confusing.
First of all, the sentences were way too long. Example right at the beginning of the book: “My mind is made up, sir,” he said to the president, raising an arm, motioning what would be understood as body language indicating the word “no,” while sitting on the black granite chair that had been carved to his liking, which was located in his position at the gate that had been his for time beyond typical comprehension. Besides the commas being inside quotation marks instead of out (which I am sure is a very valid writing style, I just personally don’t appreciate it), it bothered me that this was a single sentence, making it hard to absorb the notions there described. This happened throughout the book. The something something something, which something something something, while etc etc, as well as he did something something, as he something something, as he yadda yadda yadda. I felt like screaming ‘Hey!! Stop! Period! Let me picture this in my head first!’. Long story short, I had to constantly reread whole sentences and sometimes paragraphs, once or twice even whole chapters.
Due to this and other aspects, some explanations were too confusing. For instance, the whole thing about evolved, unevolved, their deaths, the various portals, the island. I think all this information, which was so important, was fed in an unclear manner, did not give me the chance to catch up to the concepts and some just didn’t seem to add up, like what they remembered as evolved/unevolved.
Some aspects of the book left me feeling very disappointed, such as introducing machines who are capable of free will, anything from humour to outright mocking and even feelings such as friendship and loyalty but giving no further explanation as to how they came to be other than they were obviously built with very advanced technological. Not to mention that here we are on a planet which supposedly gets everyone who gets killed on earth and yet there are only 4 cities in it. And what exactly was the currency in this world, if any?
A lot of times I felt that there was no fluidity in the writing. It was like there was a chunk of text here, then another chunk there and sometimes the following chunk mentioned things already said before. Often there was just no apparent transition in action.
Quite a few typos (typing there instead of their always makes me cringe, eurgh) and words were placed in odd orders, especially adverbs.
The love scenes are extremely awkward. It’s like every single one of the main males in the picture needs to fall heads over heels over a woman. So there he goes, sees the one, feels an immense attraction and so on and so forth and BOOM, he’s in love. She loves him back, of course. Why? No idea. I can understand physical attraction but little more. Certainly not love. Certainly not something so strong that makes the character forget years of projects or draw lovely pictures of the selected female.
– The characters had no depth. Tom Maxwell, the supposed hero, could be anyone. There is nothing distinctive about him. We know close to nothing of him, other than the fact that he was a cop and that his mother was an alcoholic at some point. Only after the second half started did we get a glimpse of villain #1’s past, which gives him a bit of depth but I have to admit I enjoyed seeing Timshel’s progression the most. But Tom, the one the synopsis got us all worked up about, was just… hollow, as most of the characters.
– The ending was quite disappointing. First of all, Timshel murdered Farris (twice), took over presidency, kept Adams imprisoned in miserable conditions especially in the beginning, and not only does he not get punished but gets a job in security counsel? He says he is sorry and that’s it, all’s forgiven? Also, why on earth did Tom need to go through the exit portal? Ajay had already gone through it, so it seems to me that whatever world is beyond it is already covered and that Daygon would be better off protected by Tom. And it says the portals will be back to normal within the hour or so. How? I found myself asking that question a lot, how? How does this happen and why?
As you can tell, I struggled to find something good to say about the book. It took me FOREVER to read it. Maybe there were some good ideas here. I’m giving it 2 stars instead of 1 because I want to give it the benefit of the doubt. But I just don’t know. I was completely distracted by the writing.
Even if there were good ideas, or certainly good intentions for good ideas, I feel that they just weren’t executed in the best manner. Some descriptions need to be shortened, other ideas/concepts better developed and especially the sentences need to be shorter. They don’t convey a better sense of fluidity as they are, on the contrary, they lead to the reader getting lost and having to waste time rereading.
Another reviewer said the author does too much telling and not enough showing. I couldn’t agree more. I wish I could say more, especially something more positive, but nothing comes to mind. I think it’s one of those books that just will not stick with me. It didn’t make me feel much other than boredom and annoyance. Maybe it will work for others but, to me, it was just ok – barely.
Read from November 15 to 27, 2014
I would like to thank the author for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.