Saturday, September 25, 2010
Review: Space Junque by LK Rigel
Space Junque is a novella-length space opera type of story set in a post-apocalyptic future where eco-terrorism is slowly eroding the planet. The protagonist escapes into space and finds herself stranded there with her missing twin sister's boyfriend, and a shuttle pilot she has a thing for. Things escalate from there...
I don't usually read in this genre, aside from Star Trek novels, but I was intrigued by the sample and took a chance on this one, to mixed results. I enjoyed the human side of the story---Rigel nicely plays such details as the interpersonal vibe between Char and Mike (her identical twin is his girlfriend and his feelings for her are therefore bittersweet) and Char's small efforts to make life go on were similarly deftly drawn. The writing was good, definitely publishable quality.
However, as the story developed, I did find myself getting bogged down a little with the world-building, and this reminded me why I tend to not enjoy such stories. It's hard to work in the backstory needed for a future setting without veering into tireless exposition territory. Something like Dragonverse, which I recently reviewed, erred a little too far on the side of patient explaining. This one was definitely on the side of 'in media res' and I am not sure I am experienced enough with this genre to catch on as quickly and really enjoy that. If you are the type of reader who needs everything spelled out for you very explicitly, you might find yourself struggling a little to piece together the geo-politick at play in this short little book.
I am going to hold off on assigning a rating to this one. If this book is your sort of thing, you'll probably enjoy it. I can definitely say that on a purely functional level, the book is readable, polished and well-paced. Ultimately, it did turn out to be not my kind of story, but I think that is more a reflection on my personal reading tastes than on any issues with the book itself.
The author is currently running a contest to promote the book. So if you enjoy this sort of story, it might be a good time to check it out!