Tuesday, May 10, 2011
A Brief Review of Kevin Anderson's The Saga of Seven Suns
"One of the more entertaining SF series that I've read in years."
Summary: In the distant future, humanity accidentally sets off a war with an ancient, and technologically superior, alien race that dwells within gas giants. Over the course of these seven books, three human governments and six alien races (seven if you count robots) come into conflict and form alliances in an ever-shifting struggle for survival and for dominion.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Good: A very entertaining epic sf story. Good characters, heroes and villains.
Bad: Little especially new. Stretched a bit.
Overall: Definitely worth reading.
This is an epic, space opera tour-de-force that will keep readers up late into the night as they try to put it down after "just one more chapter." Anderson manage to keep multiple storylines equal engrossing by shifting characters at just the right time often at a cliffhanger moment (either a character is in trouble or they have just discovered something potentially important.)
The series has far too much happen to effectively summarize in a short review. Humanity faces internal dangers (wars between interstellar human governments, the growing megalomania of the most powerful human leader, and a civil war of sorts) and external dangers (the aforementioned war with the hydrogues, uncertain allies, and enemies that appear later). The other central race, the Ildarans face a similar set of problems. To avoid spoilers, I won't add anything more about the plot. That information is available at wikipedia.
There are two minor flaws in the series that some critics have noted, and generally overblown. First the series is stretched a bit to make it seven books long (It probably should been condensed into six or perhaps even five books). This does lead to sections that are less interesting than the rest, but overall the books do hold the reader's attention. The second, and even more minor flaw, is that there is no exceptionally original idea that sticks with you after the series is over. True, but of course this can be said about virtually every other book written in our lifetimes.
If you want an entertaining plot-driven story this series is probably for you. This series rocked.