A Review of The Infinite Battle

The Infinite BattleThe Infinite Battle by David Bischoff
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t even ever get into it. It just seemed a little too forced, a little too ’80s, a little too Battlestar Gallactica, a little too dorky to me. It’s like the author was trying too hard to be sci fi cool and didn’t quite pull it off. He should have eased off the transmission just a touch.

The book had potential. When her beloved super scientist brother Cal Shemzak is abducted by the mysterious Jaxdron aliens, with whom humanity has been at war for some five or more years now, super cyborg agent, blip ship pilot, feisty Laura Shemzak talks her way onto a very top secret spaceship for the purpose of finding him. Only to to be attacked and boarded by pirates while on the way to that ship. She attacks the pirates, holds one hostage, demands the pirate captain take her where she wants to go, and is pretty much laughed at. The captain, one charismatic yet annoying as hell Tars Northern, in charge of the Starbow, a pretty awesome ship, and his bizarre crew of humans, aliens, and robot pirates/mercenaries, may or may not help her.

Okay. I can partially buy that, I guess. But since the pirates were just taking freight off Laura’s ship, why couldn’t she have stayed on that ship and continued to her destination to pick up her super ship to go off in search of her brother? Why hijack a group of ultra-dangerous pirates and ask them to take you to another location just cause you need a quick ride? That seemed odd. And Cal. His character seemed a little too stereotypically one dimensional for my liking. Immature, naive, brilliant, no real depth, coward. Pretty unlikable. And their society of “Friends.” Haven’t we seen such cultures portrayed relentlessly in sci fi books and movies throughout the decades over and over again until it’s become quite tiring? Something a little more original might have been preferable. And frankly, the incest thing threw me just a bit. Trust me, I’m no prude and God knows I’ve read enough Heinlein (and even de Sade) to have seen the worst, but many male sci fi writers are freaking perverts, I’ve discovered over the years, and to write of these siblings’ love as though it were proper and good and balanced and healthy and as though society was the sick entity for looking down on them for their incestuous relationship… Well, that’s just a little bit too much for me to swallow. I can handle a little taboo to some degree, but to be so ho hum about it strikes me as odd. Finally, Laura. She was a super agent for the Federation. She could go anywhere, do anything. She had the training, the hardwiring, the cybernetics. And yet she could go off at a moment’s notice. Wouldn’t you have thought they would have done personality profiles on their agents and psychological testings? Wouldn’t you have thought they would have “conditioned” their top agents they’ve invested millions or more in to ensure they wouldn’t fly off the handle and go rogue? To see Laura go nuts when she learns of her brother’s capture and insistence upon personally going off into alien territory to rescue him without aid is incomprehensible.

Frankly, not much about this book makes much sense. Laura constantly takes stupid risks, is a reactionary, usually for no good reason, seems nearly as immature as her brother, and neither protagonist seems particularly likable to me, at least not enough to finish the book. I’ve read the 10 Goodreads reviews and was surprised to see several positive things said in the four and five star reviews, but noted the book as a whole as a sub-3.5 rating. That’s probably being generous, in my opinion. If handled well by a decent author, this book had the potential to be okay, I think. Not great, but okay. But it wasn’t. And as a result, I think it’s largely a waste of time. Not recommended.

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