Official Review: Steele Chronicles: Colony Crisis Series:...

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fantasy or science fiction books or series.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
Post Reply
User avatar
Kendra M Parker
Posts: 579
Joined: 07 Apr 2018, 07:49
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 20
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 88
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 409
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kendra-m-parker.html
Latest Review: The Dragon In The Garden by Erika Gardner
Reading Device: B00GDQDRPK

Official Review: Steele Chronicles: Colony Crisis Series:...

Post by Kendra M Parker » 27 Feb 2019, 06:19

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Steele Chronicles: Colony Crisis Series: Gathering Forces" by Andrew Utsogn.]
Book Cover
2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Set in the distant future, Andrew Utsogn’s Steele Chronicles: Colony Crisis Series: Gathering Forces attempts to weave together three different plot lines across great distances in space. Humans left Earth to colonize other planets centuries before the novel begins, bringing with them many of the same political issues we see today. Diving into Utosgn’s world, readers first meet Carl Wolf, a “xeno-wrangler.” Wolf travels to outer worlds and helps clients safely navigate the dangers in unexplored environments. When things go wrong on one of his jobs, he finds himself suddenly sent to Oceanus Station, one of his least favorite places in the universe. As a skilled doctor, Tatyana plans to leave home and join a humanitarian mission on Oceanus Station. Two days before her planned departure, her estranged father asks her to come visit one last time. After a difficult visit, Tatyana suddenly finds herself the prime suspect in her father’s murder as she seeks to escape the ruling mafia organization. On an unknown planet, a race of lizard-people struggle to survive against an invading horde.

Clearly, Utsogn devoted significant time and effort to developing his characters and his universe. His characters have complex back-stories, and a prologue shows how well he designed the political lines in the novel. Characters and events play their parts well in creating an engaging story. Lamentably, Utsogn knows his characters so well that he forgets to share some pertinent details with the reader. Several times, those details truly felt lacking due to personal familiarity instead of an attempt to increase suspense. Gathering Forces could benefit from allowing the reader just a little more insight into the characters and plot points.

I applaud Utsogn’s ambitious goals in choosing to incorporate three plotlines. When such disparate plotlines weave together seamlessly, it creates an amazing experience. Unfortunately, Utosgn misses the mark. While reading, I kept waiting for all of the plotlines to converge into that brilliant moment where the whole picture becomes clear. That moment never really occurred in Gathering Forces. Two of the plotlines intersect briefly and then diverge again. A third plotline feels like it gets left hanging out in space, waiting for some sort of resolution that never happens. I understand this book will be part of a series, but each book in a series should provide some sense of resolution. Gathering Forces simply ends without any true resolution for any of the plots.

On top of the character and plot issues I noted, there are some additional technical flaws in the book. Gathering Forces could benefit from a solid edit of the grammar. Most of the flaws I found involve a missing word or misplaced punctuation. While these do not have a major impact on the readability of the novel, they do accumulate enough to cause me to deduct a star from my final rating.

Utsogn’s novel earns 2 out of 4 stars. His book has an interesting premise, but the way it stops short of connecting all three storylines detracts from the overall story. With some additional professional editing, this book could soar into the 3- or 4-star range. Readers that love detailed universes and epic science fiction stories may find a new favorite author in Utsogn. If you crave a sense of fulfillment when finished with a book, however, I suggest skipping this one.

******
Steele Chronicles: Colony Crisis Series: Gathering Forces
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like Kendra M Parker's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 7331
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 26
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 94
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: Scorched
Bookshelf Size: 261
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: The Channeler by William H Kline IV

Post by kandscreeley » 01 Mar 2019, 09:08

I dislike when it feels like the author didn't really know where to end the book, so it just stops. It sounds like this might be the case here, especially with the plot line that's just left hanging. For that reason alone, I probably won't read this one. Thanks, though.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Dentarthurdent
Posts: 45
Joined: 21 Jun 2018, 08:54
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dentarthurdent.html
Latest Review: Randy Love...at your service by Shay Carter

Post by Dentarthurdent » 07 Mar 2019, 17:11

Seeing as I do enjoy a sense of fulfillment on completion of a book, I shall avoid this one as per your advice. I like that you have explained the short-comings of the novel in a manner easy to relate to. the first paragraph paints quite a comprehensive picture, but I believe it would have done better as three paragraphs, rather than one; for Wolf, Tatyana and the lizard-people.

User avatar
HRichards
Posts: 145
Joined: 09 May 2018, 06:02
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 50
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 24
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 38
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-hrichards.html
Latest Review: The McCoys Before The Feud by Thomas McCoy

Post by HRichards » 08 Mar 2019, 07:28

That's unfortunate because the initial summary you gave seems very interesting. A shame there were too many plot lines going on.

Post Reply

Return to “Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books”