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READ PDF é Blood of the Cosmos º The second book in Kevin J Anderson s Saga of Shadows trilogy Anderson hits it out of the galaxy again Booklist, starred review, on The Dark Between the StarsAn epic space opera of the titanic conflict of several galactic civilizations against a life destroying force of shadows, a dark cosmic force that has swept through the undercurrents of the human interstellar empireThe intertwined plots, overflowing with colorful ideas, a large cast of characters, and complex storylines, span dozens of solar systems, alien races, and strange creaturesAs the second book of the trilogy opens, the humans and Ildirans, having narrowly escaped annihilation at the hands of the Shana Rei and their robot allies in Book One, are desperate to find a way to combat the black cloud of antimatter of the Shana Rei The mysterious alien Gardeners, who had helped them previously, turn out to be a disaster in disguise and because of them, the world tree forests are again in danger The allies believing they have found a way to stop their dreaded enemies, a new weapon is tested, but it s a horrible failure, throwing the human race and its allies to the brink of extinction Just could not bring myself to finish this book The first book was long and has tons of characters with their own story lines in it and a bit slow at times but did keep moving forward The second book however just felt likeof the same, stuck in the middle and going nowhere I don t mind long books but this felt just like a rehash of the first with nothing to move the story forward I felt Now the third books is out Do all the character story lines come together in the end, Ill never know Just could not bring myself to finish this book The first book was long and has tons of characters with their own story lines in it and a bit slow at times but did keep moving forward The second book however just felt likeof the same, stuck in the middle and going nowhere I don t mind long books but this felt just like a rehash of the first with nothing to move the story forward I felt Now the third books is out Do all the character story lines come together in the end, Ill never know at this time I am not going to spend any money on this series at full price to find out Ill wait till it goes on sale or see it on Bookbub First Kevin J Anderson wrote the Saga of the Seven Suns which consisted of seven books and now he has followed up with a further three called the Saga of Shadows about the same characters and their worlds This is the second of those books so I feel I know the characters really well And you need to know them well because there are very many of them and the author moves his story to a different group of them in each chapter As a result each chapter ends on a cliff hanger and the reader has to w First Kevin J Anderson wrote the Saga of the Seven Suns which consisted of seven books and now he has followed up with a further three called the Saga of Shadows about the same characters and their worlds This is the second of those books so I feel I know the characters really well And you need to know them well because there are very many of them and the author moves his story to a different group of them in each chapter As a result each chapter ends on a cliff hanger and the reader has to wait many pages until a resolution comes around As a page turning technique this is brilliant As with all the others this was a very long book but I enjoyed it hugely and am looking forward to the next one Storyline 3 5Characters 2 5Writing Style 2 5World 2 5Sometimes a sequel makes you look back on the first in the series and hold it in higher regard The sequel can enrich characters whose identities had yet been brought to fullness, it can provide further depth to institutions or technologies and their relationship to society, or maybe it will bring together storylines or viewpoints in such a way to show you that the author had been cunningly juggling complicated relationships and plots all Storyline 3 5Characters 2 5Writing Style 2 5World 2 5Sometimes a sequel makes you look back on the first in the series and hold it in higher regard The sequel can enrich characters whose identities had yet been brought to fullness, it can provide further depth to institutions or technologies and their relationship to society, or maybe it will bring together storylines or viewpoints in such a way to show you that the author had been cunningly juggling complicated relationships and plots all along On the other hand, there are sequels, such as Blood of the Cosmos, which sap the wonder and accomplishments from their precursor So the characters are the same people doing the same things with with the added wrinkle that they re doing it someplace else The technologies and the conflicts are the same except that they re bigger The revelations and twists remain as a promised, the difference being that well, actually there s no difference the same things are promised and the revelations put off until the next book This second in the Saga of Shadows trilogy exhibits all these attributes.The story still has some momentum and appeal I very much doubt anything here would deter Anderson fans or Saga of the Seven Suns devotees The author still manages to squeeze something additional from the mini chapter format and shifting viewpoints perspective There are enough plot developments and new problems and solutions to entertain The single greatest flaw of the book is that it aspires to be an epic but lacks the complexity to pull it off The Story So Far prologue was a several page summary of the events in the last book One of the challenges of a sequel is how to re familiarize the reader with the characters, boundaries, and stakes of the story in an aesthetically pleasing way while complementing the new story The summary approach is a blunt, lazy device in any circumstance This particular summary was especially hamfisted overly long, odd details, simple prose with a choppy functionalism It was additionally awkward, however, because it didn t replace the reviews and reminders in the story Thus we get additional flashbacks, commentaries, musings, etc., that explain who the characters are and their relationship to others There was no need, then, for the prologue in fact, the experience would have been better without it Anderson doesn t stop there, however, with the reviews and summaries They occur throughout the book Sometimes the exact same phrasing and description is used one can see the copy paste function at work That is a reasonable way to write a first draft You stick on some placeholders intending to come back and rework the descriptions, add a little nuance or a tweak that delivers something extra, but Anderson didn t come back for those revisions This is something an editor should catch, and one has to be surprised that a publisher with the reputation of Tor didn t doThose writing and editing flaws are magnified, however, by Anderson s decision to keep the characters to a very limited two dimensions and the conflicts nearly identical to what was written in book one Nearly all of the characters are exactly who they were in book one There s little attempt at growth or depth in fact, what we get are repeated reminders of the singular qualities that we are supposed to know about them So their dialogue reinforces a single trait cold bloodedness, indecisiveness, insecurity, genius, tenderness, militarism, etc Then their actions reinforce those same traits Then the omniscient narration reiterates those same traits Over and over and over again The worldbuilding, too, has this over and over and over again problem I think now that I liked The Dark Between the Starsthan was warranted Not having read the seven part Saga of the Seven Suns, the world was new to me In this second volume, I had already tired of revisiting the same places decorated with the same descriptions If this is what the Saga of the Seven Suns was like, then readers could have skimmed much of this One bonus that might have been available to followers of the full saga is the interactions with characters from the original series They work fine in this story for readers coming to the series anew, but perhaps there was an added level of anticipation or satisfaction that I wasn t able to access I ll read on to Eternity s Mind and finish the trilogy I don t expect much from Anderson at this point, and if the final volume is like this, then he s not going to be an author I seek out Still, the problem of repetition aside, there is little here to annoy a reader The characters are two dimensional, but there s so many of them that you get plenty of variety Most of the environments are already familiar, but they re neat environments The plot is recycled, but Anderson is capable enough at generating a mild tension It was a mediocre book, and I d much rather read one like this than a bad one I still liked all of the characters, they re all well drawn and almost all are actually likable too Despite the multitude of characters I never had trouble distinguishing who s talking or keeping track of all of them, much less so than in many books with only two points of view There s a glossary of characters and terms at the back of the book but I never needed it, despite the many points of view, locations, historical events, and everything else, including the year since the last book which I still liked all of the characters, they re all well drawn and almost all are actually likable too Despite the multitude of characters I never had trouble distinguishing who s talking or keeping track of all of them, much less so than in many books with only two points of view There s a glossary of characters and terms at the back of the book but I never needed it, despite the many points of view, locations, historical events, and everything else, including the year since the last book which I don t think I liked quite as much and my generally terrible memory I think that says a lot for the writing being good at giving me the clues I need to spark my memory, usually without info dumps Though there was a very welcome extensive The Story So Far, at the beginning that was just a huge info dump, but it wouldn t have been nearly enough for the 600 page book without smart cues in the writing.But it did bug me when the author made a character act like an idiot just to advance a plot point The green priest who had the most to gain from protecting the bloaters just blurted out the secret of them to a Roamer coincidentally a b list character who s skymine was in trouble because of the ekti x The priest had reason to not be at his best but he also had manyreasons than most to know that that secret needed to be kept, he wasn t likely to comment on it with anyone casually, the whole scene was really unbelievable It s still primarily a series for fans of the original Saga of the Seven Suns series though It isn t that you couldn t read this trilogy and enjoy it It s just that you wouldn t understand the significance of most of it Most of the characters are either from the first seven books or kids of characters from the first seven books And even when Anderson recaps or briefly explains who they are you can t really get a feel for that kind of history in just a few short sentences Like the Exxos, the evil robot who is a major character in this series He just does not seem scary or even particularly significant in this book There s no sense of the long history of his people or the role that they played in the last war He feels like a toady Fans of The Saga of the Seven Suns would know that that is really not what the Klikiss robots are all about, would have a whole different sense of them.Some things did come across quite well though I thought the verdani and the worldtrees and the idea of the green priests were explained very well and felt as vivid and realistic here as ever It s one of those ideas that I can never decide if I d like or not I always wonder how a survey of readers would go on that All of the information in the world available at a touch, instant communication too But it seems to have put books, at least reference books, out of business I m not sure that would could actually happen with the numbers of low number of priests and costs the author seems to be suggesting though Anyway, they come across with that sense of magnificence and alienness and familiarity at the same time I think everything about the forest and the trees should really work even for new readers There are other things that work as well, I m not suggesting that new readers won t enjoy the action and adventure, the interesting characters, etc., etc It s just that the characters aren t all that deep because despite being the second huge book in the trilogy, there are tons of characters and there s only so much you can tell about each with this style of many short point of view chapters So without really knowing the background it might be hard to really feel the connection to them that someone who read the other seven books first would be able to feel But it might still be a fun series for them Space opera light would probably be how I d describe it It s definitely easy reading, despite the size of the book It s kind of nice to have an alternative to some of the heavy, dark, military space operas that have been coming out so much lately My general preference might be for something in between, a bitcharacter oriented but still on the lighter side, but that s neither here nor there It was a fun book It s always enjoyable to watch Anderson do his juggling act with his points of view with he s really on the ball and I thought he was mostly was here, there were only a few times when I got annoyed that a character was repeating him herself a lot Overall it was a book that fans should enjoy and new readers might well enjoy as well