#4StarReview for Sacred Planet by Austin Rogers, “Space Opera well done”

 

Sacred Planet by Austin Rogers

January 11, 2017 By W. Clark Boutwell
Verified Purchase
 
Sacred Planet is lavish with description, personalities and plot. It is an expertly played four-sided game of threat, innuendo, deceit, love, honor, venality and greed. I loved it.
Mankind has outbred into the entire galaxy with startling differences. The Sagittarians have reserved DNA manipulation as a tool for the nobility to subjugate the commoners. The Carinians have a monopoly on this religion thing (and is thus less convincing with its syncretism). The Orionians are just trying to run a business. It was a fun read with an arrogant scavenger/pirate/kidnapper (De la Fossa), a young untried ‘princess,’ enough of a venal crew to make the ship gritty and real.
There is enough swash and buckle to satisfy the most depraved among us. The language is lush and smart, allowing you to taste the air of a volcanic world-arena and the smell of blood in the morning. Characters are explored from inside and out, from a young attaché to the foxlike emperor. It is almost overpowering.
Yet, at the end of it, I wonder if this should not have been set in the Levant during 13th century. There was enough blood, betrayal and romance there to fill a galactic arm. However, as classic space opera, the story works along the lines of Flash Gordon. The problem with space operas is that you need to keep the action moving. For that you need FLT. The one sort of counteracts the other and you have an inkling that the thing could be staged in McArthur Park, as the old movie Mogul said.
This is book one of a fairly large series and thus the story arc is a downer, hopefully to be retrieved by later books.
In the last analysis, this is a BUY, not just for itself but for what it promises of the books to come!

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