Tuesday, January 08, 2008

BOOK: Ventus by Karl Schroeder

I've been reading a good bit lately. It helps me grow closer to sleep at night.

The other day, I downloaded Ventus as a free book from Karl Schroeder's site. Printed it up and gnawed a chapter or so each night.

I don't think I've read anything from Mr Schroeder before, but I immediately enjoyed his writing style. It is light and unencumbered and makes for easy reading at the end of a long day.

Ventus is science fiction, but also has many slightly fantasy elements. The story centers on a planet (called Ventus) that is unique isolated from the rest of the inhabited universe because it is tended by biomechanical lifeforms. These caretakers teraformed the world and even built large estates for the first colonists. But something went wrong and the nano-sized machines became detached from the people who arrived and started to destroy any advanced technology that arrived or was developed. The nano effectively kept the entire planet in a perpetual pre-industrial age stage.

It is an interesting mix of sci fi and fantasy. But the character development was a little under done for my tastes and the writing had a tendency to "tell" rather than "show," especially involving the characters' feelings and motivations.

Other than a lack of depth in certain places, I enjoyed the book and I'd certainly recommend it to anyone fond of science fiction. I liked the universe of Ventus and I hope I can find or Mr. Schroeder can write more tales inside of it.

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