I was really trying to make a go of this book, but something kept bothering me and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Until a couple of days ago, when I came to the necessary realization and put the book aside, unfinished. As I read about 90 pages or so, I got quite a way through it before giving up but by the time I did, I was so sick of the book, or more accurately, the characters, that I just wanted to throw the book through my front window.
In this book, Kiondili Wae, an entity with high Esper ability (to read and manipulate minds and things with her mind, i.e., telepathy), lands a seemingly good research job at Corson Station, where she will hopefully be researching FTL technology and theory and where her boss is perhaps the most famous and respected researcher there, Dr. Stillman.
However, things start to go bad from nearly the beginning, with people getting in her face and starting crap with her on day one to meeting her flighty boss, who immediately sends her on a bizarre errand to find an alien researcher elsewhere on station (a Dhirrnu) and give him some information, info that will enrage the alien and make him Kiondili’s permanent enemy. Gee, nice damn boss. Thanks for doing that to me, boss, especially during my first 30 minutes of working for you. Asshole!
I quit reading this book because I have never read a book with so much latent and blatant hostility between characters in it before in my life! I don’t know what the author was trying to accomplish, but whatever it was, they went overboard. Big time. Everyone pretty much hates everyone else. People, including Kiondili, idiot that she is, plays vicious practical jokes on everyone else and some of these people are aliens with killer instincts. Kiondili can basically read minds, for all intents and purposes, she gets bombarded with hostility at all times, flooding out at her from all sides, but especially from certain characters who hate her from the moment she arrives, all for no good reason. It’s like they’re emotionally arrested high school students who never matured. And these are the leading researchers in the galaxy, treating her like jealous, juvenile asswipes. It’s bizarre! It makes no sense.
Kiondili gets put on a backup crew for a new test ship, so she’s excited, but there’s so much bickering amongst the crew and one of them hates her so much that he tries to sabotage her career by accusing her of stealing someone else’s research through her mental abilities – it’s just too much. If I want that much tension in a book, I want some pressure relieved by seeing some people or ships blown away! This nonstop building of tension page by page is murder. It’s also not overly realistic, in my opinion. Yes, some work situations are extremely difficult. I’ve had horrible jobs. Yes, co-workers can make your life hell. But this is fucking ridiculous!
So, basically I hated this book. I kept waiting for it to improve, for the hostility to dissipate. It just continued to get worse. Great. I could go on and on, but why bother? I got a third of the way through and quit. I had better books to read. This one was aggravating me too much and wasn’t worth it. I don’t want to come away from a book with higher blood pressure and feeling stressed out. One star and not recommended.