Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Review: Death Drop By Sean Allen

" "He's onto us, Admiral!" Shouted Otto. "No real runner would steal cargo and go off course in the middle of a run - they'd never run again, not to mention the bounty put on their heads by the ringers in Trillis - It's HIM!" Malo grunted his agreement and flexed his fists in anger"
NOTE: This review may contain SPOILERS.

Death Drop by Sean Allen. I got my copy of this book from a giveaway at Goodreads by the author. (almost a year ago now) As it was a giveaway I really wanted to like this book a lot, however, I think it is just OK. I still liked it some just not as much as I was hoping I'd like it. This is the first book in a series called The D-Evolution. I was aware of that when I entered the giveaway, I think the series is planned to be a trilogy. This book sets up the series very well, but I will probably pass on the other books in the series.

First off my big disappointment was with the story synopsis that is on the back of the book (and used at Goodreads for the book's entry) described a character named Desmara, which I thought would be the main character,  but she doesn't appear until a few pages before page 150. She is really just one of an ensemble cast, which I don't mind I just wish my expectations hadn't had been set so high, or that the synopsis had concentrated more on the bigger plot arc of the story. I really enjoyed her as a character and she was one of the few characters I could relate to. She is also the only human of the main characters. Her story which is included in the synopsis is more the "B plot" of the book. The "A plot" is something entirely different, but is the story arc for the entire series.

A second disappointment with this book was at 560 pages it took me a long while to get through it and it was a little difficult to follow. It also dragged for me for the first 100 pages or so waiting for Desmara to make her entrance and to get her into the main plot. In some ways she reminded me of the title character of Aeon Flux (the MTV Liquid Television cartoon series I have yet to watch the movie even though I have the DVD) and a little of Lara Croft. The pace picked up for me about half-way through the book, then dragged a little more but picked back up and then when the end came. I was torn between being excited about what would happen in the next book or two and being disappointed that the book ended with such a cliffhanger to set up the next book. It didn't help that while the book was dragging for me I put it down for over a month before picking it back up.

I also had difficulty picturing all the different characters because they were so non-human, I'm partly a visual person, and their descriptions were a bit confusing. I think if some of them were a little easier to picture I might have liked this a bit more. OK yes there are some character drawings on the website for the book series ( ), but to be honest at the time I didn't think the website would have as much info such as character images on it (it might not have at the time I first checked it out). I also had forgotten there was a website for it until I finished the book. So I had to rely on my own imagination, like readers used to have to do all the time, and many of the characters are completely different from what I had imagined.

The book started off with two characters that are sort of a George and Lenny from "Of Mice and Men" so I thought it would be more of a sci-fi buddy adventure story. I was wrong they are part of an underdog rebellion that is fighting to save the entire universe from a super powerful being (mostly spiritual not physical?) that is hell bent on being the supreme emperor of the universe by destroying, controlling and or enslaving every species and race in the universe, and will most likely succeed. So instead of a buddy story I got an intergalactic revolution story. Cue up the opening theme from Star Wars.

The bulk of the story involves the rebels, who have discovered a drug that makes beings immune to the psychic control of this would be universal emperor/demon, the problem is their resources are decreasing rapidly and their population dying off. Also the wanna-be uber emperor with his psychic powers usually knows about things way before they get anywhere near him, and he has some moles in the system that are trying to stop the flow of this drug for obvious reasons.

Oh and the main plot point with Desmara? She was a smuggler or as the book calls them "runners". Apparently in the universe of this book these runners compete against each other. So the more cargo you haul around and deliver to people the bigger and better your reputation. Desmara was the best in the business, although she hid her identity since she was a human, humans in this universe are thought to have been killed off by the super-uber emperor and thought to be extinct. If her humanness was discovered she would be killed. So her public persona was named "The Ghost" it was also believed that The Ghost was a male his specific species not known due to him not being seen. The fact that the Ghost was really a human female was inconceivable.

For more information on this book and The D-Evolution Series you can visit the website for it: .

Death Drop by Sean Allen 2011 Vintage Six Media 560 pages. - **

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