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Title: Operation Chimera
Series: Far from Home
Author: Tony Healey & Matthew Cox
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Format: Kindle digital edition
Humanity is in a war with some aliens called the Draxx. We have some alien allies of our own but the Alliance isn't doing so well. In a gamble, the Alliance creates a supership filled with experimental tech and the most qualified candidates to fill each position. The Manhattan is being sent into a mysterious area along the Draxx border in hopes of striking a crushing blow against the Draxx and relieving the pressure on other fronts.
We follow one group of fighter pilots as they come aboard the Manhattan and experience their first "adventure" against the Draxx. Then the story ends.
Apparently this is some sort of prequel to the authors other works. None of which I noticed when I started this book. I usually page back [kindles automatically start you at chapter 1, grrrr!] to the cover and read all the boring stuff on the first pages, well, skim it anyway. I don't really care about the publisher info or what the library of congress number is or other such trivia. I usually do pay attention to the list of other books, because if I like the book I'm reading, I'll go look those others up. But like I said, I didn't notice any. Which led me to believe that this was a debut duet of a new series.
And I was wrong. When I visited the Amazon page, lots of other reviewers were raving about the authors' other books and that is how I found out this was a "written after the fact" prequel. And it sucked. For a first book, I would have been a bit more forgiving and willing to try a sequel. But with writing at this level, and to know it isn't the first, I certainly don't want to read anything written before it.
I don't have any problems with someone liking this story. We're all entitled to our own opinions about what is a "good" story. But when it comes to writing skill and execution, there are benchmarks, there are rules, there are standards. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge about writing and the brainpower to remember some of their highschool literature classes could tell you that this was not skilled writing, it was not executed well and it belonged in the rejected slush pile on some editors desk.
It felt like the authors thought they were flawlessly executing [man, I'm using that word a lot here] some intricate and deadly kata with a ninja sword but anyone looking on could plainly see they were a couple of drunks swinging broken branches while stumbling around and hollering. Even most of the Forgotten Realms books I read were written with better skill than this.
The reason it's not getting a 1 star is because the "story" was fun. Space fighting is cool. It was almost a 3 Star story in fact, but with the abrupt non-ending and the evil saboteur almost literally steepling her fingers together and planning her next move, my eyes rolled right out of my head. Putting one's eyeballs back in is not pleasant.
I won't be reading any more by either of these guys. I like my eyeballs where they belong.