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2 out of 4 stars
Review by Randomgold
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Meanwhile, the former Earth colony of Lunaria has been working under a strained independence for the past few years. The President of Earth, Maja Peterson, does not like this. She wants the Moon based colony back under her thumb, but has to do this while dealing with people conspiring against her, and dealing with increasing demands of Earth’s other two colonies on Mars and Ganymede.
One of those under opposition to the president is the newly assigned head of Earth Intelligence, Director Williams, who thinks the president is going too far. She sets up various people both in her own agency and in the president’s inner circle to look into the leader’s actions.
On Lunaria, former Earth solider Lorraine Newcome has just been elected without opposition to the position of Minister of Lunaria, and has to deal with the growing political tension while also starting a family of her own, and with the knowledge of spies are at work.
The president enlists the scientists of BioChip to put their new technology to work for the Earth army, much to the scientist’s dismay. The chips will, with considerable development, allow soldiers to heal from nearly any wound, have a greatly extended life span, and be nearly immune to illness. But the president has yet another purpose behind the life giving nanochips. She also wanted to use them to control the population.
While spies for both Lunaria and Earth go to work trying to pick apart the other’s secrets, the BioChip developers and researchers must do their best to stall the mind controlling chips for as long as possible, all while war between Earth and Lunaria looms ever closer.
Lunaria’s Hope by Cari Pearson is a sci-fi story that seeks to be a political/spy drama in a futuristic setting. However, it only occasionally accomplishes this goal. It suffers greatly from unnecessary plotlines, characters, and more. Its pacing is mediocre at best, and sluggish at worst, and the early book focuses on characters that should by all means be background characters. These lines of story and character do disappear in the latter pages, but the fact that they are so prevalent makes many chapters of this book a dull slog of corporate meetings and talk about ethics and the like.
That is not to say the entire book is that dull. When it takes the time to actually do what it intends to, it is fine. Not great, but better than when it focuses on unnecessary characters. Those are when the pacing of the story is a bit better, and they are much more prevalent towards the second half of the book than the first. But even the second half has many unneeded scenes littered throughout.
The book is held back by more than just unnecessary characters. Many of the characters get a back story presented by a flashback that is shoved into the story with only a vague segue. These flashbacks do serve to get a better grasp of the character and his or her motivations, but they also make the story grind to a halt for several pages, interrupting an already slow story for character development that could be better done organically in the story.
Plot and character are only two of the many problems this book possesses. A complete lack of any descriptive language being one of the biggest. For a sci-fi story, descriptions are crucial, and they are conspicuously absent from this book. At no point does the reader find out what a device looks like, or even does. At no point do we find out any significant details about what the characters look like. Even the most important characters are faceless bodies whose only known characteristic is gender.
The book has one more major problem. Ironically, this problem is with sudden changes. For the most part, each chapter is a self-contained scene, and when the scene ends, the chapters ends. This can be jarring, since many of the chapters end abruptly and without satisfaction. But the bigger problem is when the scene changes inside of a chapter. Should that happen, there is no warning given. No line breaks, no marking, nothing. It simply changes and it is left to the reader to wonder what it happening for a few lines.
Being rife with problems with pacing, plot, character, description, and even formatting, I can only give Cari’ Pearson’s Lunaria’s Hope 2 out of 4 stars. When it focuses on its actual plot, with intrigue and political drama, it does reasonably well. But it focuses on those moments far too little for it to be called good.
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