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Sci-Fi Novel Review: The Terrans by Jean Johnson

The Terrans by Jean Johnson (First Salik War #1)


Egalley thanks to Ace

Synopsis from Goodreads
Jean Johnson's first novel in an explosive new science fiction trilogy set in the world of the national bestselling Theirs Not to Reason Why series—set two-hundred years earlier, at the dawn of the First Salik War…

Born into a political family and gifted with psychic abilities, Jacaranda MacKenzie has served as a border-watcher and even spent time as a representative on the United Planets Council. Now she just wants to spend her days in peace and quiet as a translator—but the universe has other plans…

Humans have long known that they would encounter more alien species, and while those with precognitive abilities agree a terrible war is coming, they do not agree on who will save humanity—a psychic soldier or a politician.

But Jackie is both.

After she is pressured into rejoining the Space Force to forestall the impending calamity, Jackie makes an unsettling discovery. Their new enemy, the Salik, seem to be rather familiar with fighting Humans—as if their war against humanity had already begun…
 

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

6/10

* * *
 There are good and bad things I want to say about the first instalment of this spin-off of the popular sci-fi series by Jean Johnson. In a nutshell: the ideas are fantastic, the execution? Not so much.



I really enjoyed reading about the first contact between humans and other alien races, the background, the way humanity united under one government, the way that government was built. Jackie is a positive heroine, noble and honest to a fault, self-conscious and very straight.

Li'Eth, the V'Dan captain is a fascinating character and the one with the most growth throughout the book. From Theirs Not To Reason Why series we don't really get much about this alien race so similar to humans and yet so different. Their Jungen marks, their royalty and aristocracy, and most of all, their religion is what is vastly different from us. However, given what we find out about their background and origin in this book, it all starts to make perfect sense.

Meeting humans (Terrans) and Jackie especially, a powerful psi, who rescues Li'Eth and his team from being eaten by Salik makes a huge impression on him. Being a psi himself, Li'Eth forges an unexpected bond with Jackie, which complicates the hell out of their relationship and brings in a slight note of romance to the story.

Miss Johnson's skill lies in creating a big, intricately woven, fantastic world-building with a great attention to detail. But you hear a BUT. *grinning* The book drags partly because of that. The info-dumping, the over-explanation of things and endless speeches is pretty much what you should expect from it. It's bogged down by endless Terran bureaucracy and the absolute need to do everything by the book.  It drove me nuts.

The reason I rated A Soldier's Duty and An Officer's Duty so high, and rated the consequent books lower and lower, was because the first two books were choke full of action, they were EXCITING. Then it went more into talking and less into doing things talked about. Unfortunately, The Terrans brought this formula to its most concentrated point. There are a couple of moments full of action, then it quiets down and flatlines for the rest of the book.

I sincerely hope the next book will pick up because damn, I don't want to drop this series.! I enjoy the world too much. Please, Miss Johnson, more action and less talk in the next one. This one was torture.

* * *
Начало серии Первая Война Салик - это приквел известной серии научной фантастики от Джин Джонсон, и несмотря на многие хорошие аспекты, он меня разочаровал.

Проблема в том, что талант Джин Джонсон лежит в тщательном построении мира. Она рисует большую картину, полна шикарных идей, но их исполнение погрязает в несчётных объяснениях, диалогах и речах.  Она говорит о том, что надо сделать и как надо это сделать, вместо того, чтобы это сделать. И от этого очень устаёшь.

Если первые две книги про Ию - Долг Солдата  и Долг Офицера я оценила очень высоко, последующие три я уже читала с меньшим восторгом, так как действие в них всё больше заменялось разговорами и объяснениями. К сожалению, Терраны - квинтессенция этой формулы.

Терраны рассказывает о Первом Контакте людей с другими межгалактическими цивилизациями, и начинается он находкой горстки В'Дан, которых капитан Джаки МакКензи спасает с корабля Салик. Джаки - сильный пси с множеством уникальных талантов, что позволяет ей стать Послом человечества при Первом Контакте, и она производит сильное впечатление на капитана Ли'Ета, который сам- слабый пси, и его контакт с Джаки создаёт неожиданную связь между ними, что усложняет дипломатические отношения между расами.

После находки группа В'Дан отправлена на землю со всевозможными фанфарами, где единый земной Совет погружается в дебаты, что и как им теперь делать и сколько на это выделить денег.  О В'Дан мы знаем совсем немного из предыдущей серии: они отличаются от нас джюнгеном - серией опознавательеных пигментных пятен, монархией, аристократией, строгой иерархией и мистическими религиозными обрядами. Терраны раскрывают тайну их происхождения, и их структура начинает нести в себе какой-то смысл.

Сам Ли'Ет - интересный персонаж, который развивается больше всех в этой книге, чему способствует его телепатическая связь с Джаки. Джаки - очень позитивная героиня, благородная, честная и одержимая нуждой делать всё, следуя букве закона. Единственное, что противоречит этому желанию, это её странная связь с Ли'Етом, что приносит нотку романтизма в эту книгу.

Как я уже сказала, идеи шикарные и мне очень хочется читать дальше, однако я искренне надеюсь, что мисс Джонсон укоротит речи и наконец перейдёт к экшн, иначе читать её будет сплошной пыткой.
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