Review: The Primus Initiative by Robert Davies


Rating: 7/10

Synopsis

A war that began twenty years ago has arrived at last, and humanity will join the fight to save five civilizations from extinction.

After a twenty-year journey across space, the mysterious and dreaded Namadi fire ships are arriving. Their mission to destroy five civilizations will cost the lives of billions across the galactic sector if the ships can’t be stopped in time. The only hope to defeat them hinges on the success of a daring operation.

In a desperate race against time, Darrien Norris and Onallin Rantara must lead a team of commandos to a remote world in search of crucial information to destroy their enemy. The Namadi are drawing closer and where their foe is scheduled to emerge is the most prized secret in galactic history—one they are prepared to kill for.

With surprises waiting at every corner, Darrien and Onallin have no choice but to trust new allies before it’s too late.

Time is against them, and the race for survival has begun.

Review

A human sci-fi book with fantastic prose!

Prose: +10/10

Honestly, this was one of the best written books I’ve read in recent memory. The author has a way with words. It’s smooth, just flows over and yet powerful enough to stir the emotions the subject deserves. It’s like a painting making it so easy to visualize the scent, the setting, the people and the events. Just brilliant!

Plot/Pace: +7/10

From the blurb, I had expectations of this book of being a adventure race against extinction. It certainly was that…..but as a backdrop to the relationship between the two primary characters, which I didn’t expect. The books starts giving us a view of the bleak events at beginning of the relationship between Darrien and Onallin. The plot alternates between revealing their individual and shared pasts and the current extinction threat from a alien civilization. Then as plot progresses, we see the events through the eyes of the two protagonists all the way till the end.

The pacing, I felt is a bit uneven. The pov’s somehow made me feel a bit detached to the event, as if I was watching a memory of the event rather than being at the event myself. We get awesome action sequences and just when adrenalin kicks in, the scene cuts to a relationship discussion between them. The whole race against time to avoid extinction felt muted as a result. There is also a third plotline that runs in background which takes a more philosophical outlook about various warring/alien civilizations which are forged to come together to fight against a bigger enemy. I feel the portrayal of this is a bit rosy and not very realistic. Again, though this adds more colors to the tapestry, it drags down the pace still further.

The prologue is gripping and I absolutely wanted to tear through the pages….but then following segments (mostly first 30% of the book) is used to set up the characters. So many names, people, places, races, events, and none explained was quite tedious to get through. I nearly gave up but somehow persisted…which in hindsight was a good decision!

Characters: +6/10

The lead characters are well rounded and beautifully etched. The same cannot be said of anyone else. We have lots of characters popping in and out adding lot of colors to the background, but none really make an impression.

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