Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Review: Redemption Corps by Rob Sanders

SO I just finished the latest installment in the Imperial Guard novel series: Remption Corps by Rob Sanders.

I had high hopes for this book. A new BL author, which the BL has been good about recruiting only the best. As they broaden, they can afford to seperate the wheat from the chaff. Plus it is a book about Storm Troopers: guys so BA that if they had been born on worlds with SM legions they would have made the cut.

BUT this book sadly dissapointed me. Before I go into the dissapointing aspects, I will say what I liked.
1- The Characters- Mr. Sanders created some likeable and hateable (SoB) characters. A man who would give Arnold a run for his money in one of his own movies and who doesn't love to hate Sisters. He also makes a few other decent characters (Rask, Rosenkratz, Krieg). They aren't poorly constructed and you can get a good feel and backstory from each of them. Jopallian Pilot working off her debt, Inq Stormtrooper turned commissar, the likeable middleman IG captain. They all work.
2- The flash forwards. In between each chapter, Rob fast forwards to the end and slowly developes the finale through out the book. These were actually some of the most understandable moments of the book, and were the best parts to read. I also liked piecing together the mystery. Plus, I get to continually seeth with hatred towards Sisters of Battle, and for multiple reasons.

BUT the rest of the book is painful. It isn't his language. His descriptions are good. He has some good settings and ideas. It is his execution. As I said in number 2 above, the flash forwards are understandable. You can follow what is happening. The rest of the book is like reading a play without stage directions, or watching a movie with 5 of every 15-20 frames missing. I think Rob wrote the fast forwards then realised he needed a book to go with it and just slapped a first draft on paper and turned it in. Things/Character actions happen and you are instantly lost, because he fails to set them up or assumes you know the intervening steps. It is like stop motion writing. Stop motion animation is fine, because it is so fast my mind fills in the blanks, but written I can't. I think Mr. Sanders saw it in his head, which I get from the settings and the characters, but he just couldn't write down the action coherently.  He assumes you are watching the same thing he sees. Unfortunately Mr. Sanders, I am not. BUT try giving comic books/graphic novels a shot. THEN I can see, and your story will make more sense. But as it is, Rob can't reliably get the action from pen to paper. Too many gaps.

It had soo much potential, being about crazy Storm Troopers that take on the toughest jobs. It had a chance to be the new Last Chancers, but Rob put a nail in that coffin. I'll take Schaeffer over Mortensen any day.

Unless this book is in an Omnibus, pass it up. Seriously, save your time and read something else. The only reason I stuck with it was to write this.

Verdict- What is good can't NEARLY cover what is bad. Lowest rating to date- 1 out of 5 aquillas