Friday, February 12, 2016

Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold

Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold
2014, Tor Books
Series: Book 1 of Artemis Awakened

Synopsis: The distant world Artemis is a pleasure planet created out of bare rock by a technologically advanced human empire that provided its richest citizens with a veritable Eden to play in. All tech was concealed and the animals (and the humans brought to live there) were bioengineered to help the guests enjoy their stay…but there was always the possibility of danger so that visitors could brag that they had “bested” the environment.

The Empire was shattered in a horrific war; centuries later humanity has lost much of the advanced technology and Artemis is a fable told to children. Until young archaeologist Griffin Dane finds intriguing hints that send him on a quest to find the lost world. Stranded on Artemis after crashing his ship, he encounters the Huntress Adara and her psych-linked companion, the puma Sand Shadow. Their journey with her will lead Dane to discover the planet’s secrets…and perhaps provide a key to give unimagined power back to mankind.

The Good: If you can get past the first half of the book's slow and pretty boring progress, there is a fairly decent story here. The shift in pace was jarring, but I was so thankful for it, we'll call it a good thing. When dealing with the science fiction angles on genetic modification and breeding, the book was at its best. Had the entire book focused on that, instead of meandering through weird feudal fantasy to get there, it could have been a 5 star read.

The Bad: My big problem with this book was the synopsis is a total bait and switch. Look at that first paragraph. Awesome, right? Except, we never see or talk about any of that in the book. That awesome part is part of the past and it's completely glossed over in the book. The present is so far removed from that past, that there is absolutely no reason we needed to tease that former reality. The book itself pales in comparison to the opening premise of the synopsis and that is really not the impression you want to make to a reader. It completely set me up for disappointment.

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