The Ashes of Worlds Review
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I should have known better than to pick up the last book in a series—even if it’s by an author whose work I’ve enjoyed in the past. As I read Kevin J. Anderson’s The Ashes of Worlds, I found that I simply could not get interested in the story or even care about most of the characters. Plus, the whole thing didn’t make a lick of sense to me.

The Ashes of Worlds is the seventh and final book in the Saga of Seven Suns series. Here, we pick up in the middle of a brutal space war. Admiral Sheila Willis has just abandoned the Earth Defense Forces to join King Peter and his confederation on Theroc. Theroc is under attack by the faeros—malicious fire beasts who burn worldtrees and destroy planets—who plan on moving from one to another until everything is burned to ashes.

Meanwhile, forces—enemies and friends alike—are coming together to fight the Klikiss, an army of bug robots who plan on taking over every planet they can get to. But no one but Margaret Colicos knows that Davlin Lotze is still alive—sort of. He’s become part of a Klikiss breedex hive, and he’s trying to dominate them in order to stop the vicious killings. In the end, only one breedex hive will survive and control all. If Davlin loses, humanity will be eradicated.

There are too many characters with too much going on around them to go into more detail about this novel—at least not without causing me to write a review that could probably stand alone as a novel in itself. Because of the number of characters and the plots within subplots, this whole book is a distracting mess from beginning to end. I found myself reading page after page while my mind wandered to other things. By the time I tuned back in, I hadn’t a clue what was going on—mainly because I just didn’t care.

The only character I cared anything about was Caleb Tambyln, who’s forced into an escape pod to save his life during an attack by the faeros. After tumbling around in space for a day, he finally lands on the icy lump of Jonah 12. Then he begins his struggle for survival while waiting for a rescue that may never come.

Kevin J. Anderson is definitely a prolific author, and, as I’ve said before, I have enjoyed his past work. But he bored me almost to tears with The Ashes of Worlds. Part of the blame is mine, for starting at the end of the series. That meant that I probably missed a whole lot of valuable character development that might have helped me warm up to the characters. So I caution you to start from the beginning with the first book in the series, Hidden Empire. Else, you just might end up as bored, confused, and hopelessly lost as I was while reading The Ashes of Worlds.

However, unless you like space opera with a plot that’s driven by the cold, technical aspects of the story instead of by characters that you grow to love and root for, I’d recommend skipping the Seven Suns saga. I can think of better space operas to spend your valuable time reading—like Exile’s Burn by Elaine Corvidae. She brings great characterization to hard sci-fi—and that works much better than what Kevin J. Anderson offers with The Ashes of Worlds.

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