Author: Chris Rogers
Genres: Fantasy | Science Fiction
Length: 440 pages | 6290 locations
An Emissary from the Szhen race is sent to neuro-couple with the leader of the Earth’s strongest nation, in an attempt to save their people.
I am quite demanding on books involving alien races because I feel that if they are alien and claim that everything Human is so darn odd because it is so different from what they are then they should come across as completely different. While there was some attempt to do that here, it felt forced, because human terms and analogies kept being used, like becoming a sponge to absorb knowledge or eating crackers by the stream.
As the narrative evolved, I only got glimpses and pieces of the world this emissary came from and although they were incredible creative it all really just sounded like a device to tell a completely different story. It took the entirety of the book for me to realize what Ruell had been telling the whole time and not exactly showing, in my opinion – that the Szhen were once like Humans, that they had evolved into something more, that he was actually quite young. Again, I was told those things but they never really sunk in because it didn’t sound true, for some reason.
The writing put me off as well, as the sentences were unnecessary long and there was quite a lot of info dumping. There were many characters and many subplots. The entire story seemed unnecessary long, quite frankly. It dragged on for quite a while in particular places.
The ending was predictable and I never got to know one thing that had bothered me and that the president actually voiced towards the end but never achieved any resolution.
Emissary was not without interest. The narrative evolved in a fairly interesting manner because one minute we are in space and the next we are at Earth dealing with international crisis and getting to know a cop who suffered great losses in his life. That guy is the anchor to what the reader might consider normal, so he provided a good balance. We are also taken almost around the globe, from North America, to Africa, to South America. The highlights for me were definitely the descriptions of Szhen life and Ruell’s reactions to what surrounded him, even if for a minute everything seemed to have a ‘spicy’ quality to it.
However, I had expected a sci-fi story and was instead presented with a political mystery sprinkled with a touch of sci-fi, where I could not even relate to the characters. I mean, how could the White House staff not only be on first name basis but also a few of them have been close friends with the president? I don’t know, the utter sense of informality did not feel realistic to me and the dialogues felt so stilted. Everyone was so chummy and driven to do and be good.
And our cop guy, everything came to him to easily. There was so much that could have gone wrong, so many new people he came across and depended on that could have turned out to be scum with their own agendas but things just kept flowing for him.
So even though I felt the premise was interesting and there were a few engaging bits, overall it just didn’t convince me or keep me very interesting throughout the experience.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read from Sep 8th to Sep 16th, 2016