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Book 15

Zero-G (Zero-G #1)Zero-G by William Shatner

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 star read. Sadly I wanted to love this but didn’t. I’m a fan of Mr. Shatner and I love SF and mysteries which the blurb leads you to believe this is but this book had some issues that just bogged it down. One of the biggest problems is all the unnecessary background information, especially in the beginning. There’s one character who’s piloting a shuttle and we see him for a few lines but we’re given his whole military history. However, the most aggriegous example is Kristine. Literally for ther first seventy pages of this book, it’s about Sam Lord, the main pov character and head of what is basically the FBI of the space station and Kristine, a twenty-something paid escort of Colonel Franco. Some of it is to introduce us to this space station and it’s people, Franco, Lord and Ziv, the CHAI (a mostly robot cyborg Mossad agent) and Adsila, Lord’s second in command, a Cherokee pan-gender (they can undergo sequential hermaphrodism, i.e. switch sex but there isn’t much understanding on how this actually works and no explanation of how we managed to incorporate that into our DNA). But at the end of the day, Kristine is utterly unimportant and I felt annoyed. I think it was meant to be like James Bond where you see the end of one adventure at the beginning of the movie which works in a movie but seventy pages of text? Not so much.

The other problem is the love of acronyms. Every few pages there were more of them. I also had issues with it being near SF (as in if Sam Lord is 80 something in this novel, I’d be about 95), and I just don’t see us having space stations and the ability to change our gender in the next forty years but I could live with that if the characters felt better developed. Lord is very obviously Shatner. He’s an 80 something badass (with no explanation of how he’s in such amazing shape) who loves women (we get a bit of ‘age is just a number’ when he’s interested in Kristine, though relationships don’t matter much in this) and loves horseback riding. You can see they tried with Adsila but there didn’t seem to be much research beyond the most superficial into Cherokee culture. Some of the gender stuff came off creepy, especially since one whole part of it was for her to sleep with the enemy. Eye roll.

The plot is rather simple. Dr. May has created what should have been an interesting bit of neutrino use which of course someone has stolen and weaponized. They have to find out who stole it and stop it as it’s already destroyed most of Japan and a chunk of the Rockies.

It was slower than it needed to be. The series had potential but it didn’t realize it.

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