Crash. Bang. Biff. Pow. These are the noises you’ll most associate with this book.
|Jay Allen in 2016|
Sometimes, I have no idea why people name their books the way they do. I mean, Funeral Games? Sounds a lot like Monopoly at a wake. But this is the final in the Far Stars trilogy, that fun, rock and roll, explosive and exploding book series about a dude named after an attack helicopter.
Anyway, aside from the name, we’re dealing with the pointy end of the war between the Far Stars planets, who wish to remain loosely independent, and the evil Empire who wish to impose themselves on all those pesky free people. Did I mention the Empire is evil?
The story follows directly from Enemy in the Dark, and the major events are all entirely predictable. Bad stuff happens, people get killed and then good stuff hopefully happens afterwards. In fact, you could have predicted the entire storyline of this book once you’d finished Shadow of Empire.
That’s not to say that this is bad. I like that the story is simple, because it’s not meant to be some sort of fantasy epic about the struggles of good and evil. It’s a simple, fun book about the struggles of good and evil and doesn’t care about exploring the themes of human struggle and enlightenment. Or something. Leave that to all the post reading analyses that high school teachers for you to do, so you can gain a pathological hatred of Shakespeare. Just let us enjoy the damn book and story.
If there’s any storyline criticism, it’s that there’s still no air support in these things. It would have made things much easier with all the battles that go on in this book and, indeed, the entire series. That a society is able to traverse the stars and build particle accelerator cannons, yet cannot build fighter planes makes no sense to me.
Thankfully, all the strangely timed character exposition parts have gone away in this book, mainly because all the characters are still relatively one dimensional, and all their backstory was filled previously. So, in that sense, this book is pretty much all action from the get go. Rather like an Expendables movie.
But the main reason for existence of this book is to conclude the Far Stars trilogy. And on that count, it mostly delivers. It ends the conflict, the characters are largely resolved and the final battle is as spectacular as any in a Star Wars film. Everything is even largely happy, which is original.
So, here’s to the Far Stars trilogy, a series of books about a man named Blackhawk and his merry crew, who take on a power far greater than themselves and completely destroys it. Also, they seem to get into impossible situations all the time and escape relatively unharmed. Which is also a first for this type of book (no, not at all). And I enjoyed ever page of it. You would too!
Despite its one dimensional dumbness and the application of brute force in nearly every situation, this is a good read.
Read this if you…
Enjoy action and are in between really serious books. Kind of like how I’d binge on Independence Day in between watching seasons of Game of Thrones.
Skip this if you…
Are a pilot of any description, because you basically don’t exist in this universe.