Monday, June 14, 2021

Nathan Hystad - Confrontation

 Review.

Military SF is a guilty pleasure of mine. Let's read another two.

Today, that's Confrontation by Nathan Hystad. Oh dear... (read on)


Euh...

Oh dear.

Well, it was cheap on Amazon, but even that doesn't mean it was worth the money spent on. There were a few things wrong with this one. Like, what?

(This one’s a stinker. But it is also a good example of mistakes authors make, mistakes that I think can easily be corrected. Let’s have a look at some of the issues...)


Dialogue

  • Poor, overly long, stilted.
  • Young kid sounds out of character and gives all too generic 'heroic' speeches
  • All other characters sound similar.
  • Lot's of tough people talking tough, sigh.


Technology

Unrealistic.

  • Inexperienced pilot can fly an alien spaceship / fighter?
  • An injection can instantly destroy all genetic material and instantly turn flesh into jelly?
  • Implanted device can instantly communicate over hundreds (or thousands) of lightyears, and allows other people to find the wearer? (But that same technology doesn't allow any form of communication?)
  • A machine / man link (full sensory input, control, etc.) that instantly works over the same distance, but the remote team can't communicate with the home base?


Plot

Predictable and unbelievable.

  • Team goes in to rescue one person, find an alternative route, then find an alternative way to rescue half a city worth of prisoners, and get away with it.
  • Fresh captain pilots his own fighter, instead of sticking to his capital ship. Sigh...
  • Head of security is capable of flying fighters?
  • All enemy ships are destroyed at the perfect moment when the heroes blow up a wormhole (don't ask).


Inconsistencies

  • One moment the reader is told the 'brainwashing' of the slaves turns them into single minded monsters, with a single purpose: destruction. Still, a young kid is able to distract his brainwashed sister from a crowd of brainwashed killers, pull her out, and drag her with him, and she doesn't resist.
  • A 'teleportation device' is said to destroy / wound a serious percentage of people teleported, but of course when the heroes use it, that doesn't happen.
  • One moment a pilot can fly the enemy spaceships but can't fire the weapons. Couple of chapters later he knows how to fire them?


Verdict

Nope. Euh... Oh dear. Just don't. I might be totally unjust, unfair, biased, prejudiced, you tell me. It would be wrong for me to suggest this is the very first novel written by a sixteen year old. Fifteen? Fourteen? Thirteen maybe, at best?

(Okay. That's a bit unfair. But if the author ever reads my comment / review, then I hope he offers me a more recent and vastly improved novel, because this one ain't it.)

Browsing a little lead to GoodReads and his homepage. Hystad seems to be a productive writer, I just hope his other work is of a better quality, and this is just an early exercise that accidentally made it to publication...

Narration then... I think it's the same narrator who did Arenson's Scum stuff and / or Chatfield's The RecruitmentGood enough, but that's about it. Those other books were not the best ever either, so I might be biased regarding the narration. Me? Biassed? Nah... (I'm a bit surprised the money has been spent on turning it into an audiobook, at that...)

Of course, it could be me, because the book still got a five star rating on Amazon.com, and 4.5 stars on GoodReads. And on top of that, Nathan Hystad got himself published, and I did not 😁

Mmmm... anything positive? Well, I like the covers...


I have another title lined up, which is... just as bad. Very soon, the illustrious adventures of one Carson Mach...


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