Ninefox Gambit (Machineries of War I)


In a word



Thoughts (spoilers)

You know the quote: any technology sufficiently advanced enough is indiscernible from magic.

Science, math, and technology are all interesting because they solve problems based on (rigid) sets of rules. Magic (as a "technology"), still needs to follow rules, otherwise it's just deus-ex-machina arbitrary. Here's some of the arbitrary magic in this novel:

Speaking of cannons that explode organics on space vessels, why didn't the Kel just lead with that on the Fortress? There was a little blurb in the beginning about trying to take the Fortress intact, but there's a very real (and difficult) discussion to be had about the cost of invasion in terms of long-term casualties (Hiroshima, anybody?). I guess utilitarianism is completely shirked in the novel though....

There's also quite a few unanswered questions:

Moreover, there were a few very confusing parts where I think the author was either trying too hard to be clever, or just didn't elaborate enough:

Speaking of Kel and supposed Kel loyalty, most of the Kel casualties in the book come directly from the Kel themselves. Kel "loyalty" seems pretty loose-weave... loose-weave loyalty isn't exactly loyalty, now, is it?

Overall, it's pretty uncompelling fantasy.

I bought the whole series, so after I finished the first book, I opened the second one.

It didn't begin with the character Cheris... red flag. Wondering just how long it would take to get back to Cheris' story, which only just got interesting, I flipped through all the pages scanning for "Cheris" or "Jedao".

Nothing. I'm glad I did so, because it sounds like the second book is a complete waste of time. I won't be continuing the series anytime soon.