Review: Second Star by Dana Stabenow
The Particulars: Science Fiction, Gere Donovan Press, available as e-book and in print
The Source: Free read from the author’s webpage
The Grade: C+
Esther “Star” Svensdotter’s job is overseeing the completion of the American Alliance’s first O’Neill cylinder — a massive space hab capable of supporting thousands of colonists. It’s just weeks away from commissioning, and she’ll be damned if Luddite terrorists, squabbling bureaucrats, military takeovers or rogue AIs will stand in the way. Frontier justice on Ellfive sometimes involves an airlock — you don’t want to be on the wrong side of justice. Or the wrong side of Star Svensdotter.
I downloaded this from the author’s webpage when she offered it as a free read a couple of years ago. ( I think she still does, in fact.) For a number of reasons, it took me a long time to get around to reading it. Until recently when I was in the mood for Science Fiction, and decided to read this.
Over all, I liked it even if I didn’t love it.
Star, the main character, was pragmatic but she wasn’t ruthless. She ruled Ellfive with a firm hand, and the descisions she made was based on the good for the space station. It was intresting to see her interact with her department heads, and the friendship that was between them.
One aspect that I really liked was that they were working towards commissioning Ellfive, and that it meant that they would soon be out of jobs. I never see that aspect being explored in other genres.
The world that novel the place in felt believable. When I read about the life at Ellfive, it almost felt like I was there. I was visiting the man made gardens, I walked down the hallways. I really liked that it wasn’t peaceful. There were both tension between Earth and Ellfive, and jealousy from other space stations.
I really liked how that tension was woven into a twisty plot that gradually pulls the reader in. I liked how when things seemed to finally go well for Star, the stakes twisted and increased. But in the end, the plot twists wrapped up all the treads, and Star’s life had changed drastically.
All in all, it was a well written novel, and an intriguing start to a new series, but I didn’t fell in love with it. So the grade is C+.