Thursday, September 01, 2022

Book Report

Finished Centers of Gravity yesterday afternoon.

It jumps right into the action, which is to be expected. If you hadn't already deduced it by the cliffhanger ending, Orders of Battle and this book were basically one mega-novel that needed to be split for reasons of practicality.

This eighth novel basically wraps up the storyline of viewpoint character Andrew Grayson, while leaving the universe of the Lanky wars wide open for further tales.

The former has to be a relief for Marko. He wrote that original novel in first-person present tense, which is (like told him yesterday)  "normally stunt writing for MFA types. Doing a high-quality 8-book genre fiction series that way… one that maintains or improves quality across the whole series …is one of those records like paddling yourself in a hollowed pumpkin the furthest down the Mississippi.

The latter, leaving the Lanky-Human wars open-ended, has to be a relief for his publisher. The series has sold very well (Centers of Gravity was at #57 overall on Kindle yesterday morning) so the possibility of revisiting it with other characters probably makes the folks at 47 North plenty happy.

If I had to pick one thing I really enjoyed about the whole series, it's how well Marko handled interpersonal conflict between Andrew and various antagonists over the years. It's real easy for an author to fall into the trap of making anyone who dislikes the protagonist a one-dimensional baddie, but the Frontlines series, which is extremely character-driven and character-focused, demonstrates that sometimes otherwise decent people just don't get along.

For a series we jokingly refer to as "Space Kablooie", it's refreshingly mature.

It's been very enjoyable watching Andrew Grayson grow up.