To be perfectly clear about this extended short story: It’s a trap luring you into reading a series which doesn’t exist, yet. Are you ready for that?
In television, I’d expect this pilot movie to be instantly followed by a first season. In book series, I don’t know many installations which feel as hollow and screaming „buy me“ as this one.
I said it is an extended short story, not a novel. For one, it is 336 pages, which is short for a novel but too long for a novella in the usual meaning. Two, the contents of this pilot movie stretches over too long a piece of bread. Three, the pilot is fat, cholesterol and sugar heavy popcorn action. Containing lots of literal and verbal fucking around. An easy, amusing page-turner which fills some special need – quite similar to the times when you sit back and tell yourself „time for a nice porn“ or „I really need a supersize BigMac menu“.
Don’t blame me, I’ve read my good share of Scalzi novels, and this one is standing in the best tradition. I like it every now and then because it is a different diet than my literary, philosophical, or scientific needs dictate usually. Good for the moment it lasts, nothing to think about further on.
This work is absolutely everything you’d expect from a Scalzi with all its humour, admirable characters, and breathless action. Only this time, it is not a standalone but a huge cliffhanger sucking for future releases. Which are not available and won’t be for a while.
Fuck you, Scalzi, you should have written one standalone novel, not this teaser of an extended short story.
Sorry about swearing in this review, I’ve still got a sugar shock.