BooksReview

Review: "Scattered Suns" Is An Electrifying Space Opera (The Saga of Seven Suns, #4)

Cynthia Ayala ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

The war between the elemental aliens continues to grow while strife between the Ildiran kingdom and the human empire continues to rise. A deluded imposter Mage-Imperator threatens the kingdom, and while Jora’h faces that war, he must, with a heavy heart, send his half-human daughter on a mission to make peace with the hydrogues. While they fight the gas giant aliens, Jess Tamblyn and Beneto work unwittingly alongside one another to raise the water and earth aliens from their sleep to fight the war with the humans. Darkness rises above the horizon as mad men with blind power and rage attack, forcing everyone to face their darkest choices in hopes of survival.

Scattered Suns by the remarkable Kevin J. Anderson was first published on July 18, 2005 by Warner Aspect before being republished on November 1, 2007 by Orbit Books. The sci-fi space opera takes readers on an adventure through a universe at war.

"Scattered Suns" Cover. Source: Grand Central Publishing
“Scattered Suns” Cover. Source: Grand Central Publishing

The Saga of the Seven Suns functions in the same way that the A Song of Ice and Fire series functions, separating the novel into chapters around different points of view. Considering the scope of the novel, writing the novel this way was a brilliant choice. There is so much going on in Scattered Suns that the writer has challenged himself. The goal of any novel is to hook and captivate the audience, and when you have a slightly convoluted and long premise, that can be a challenge. But despite that, Anderson has made this such an easy novel to follow. He recaps the important parts of the previous novels so that the reader can grasp onto what’s been happing and how that influences what is going to happen in this six hundred-plus-page novel. The size of the novel can intimidate any reader, as can the tiny script size. However, Anderson has constructed the story with ease, so that reading it is no challenge at all.

Continuing the saga, the novel has closed some of the plotlines created from the previous novel while creating some more interesting ones that connect the overall story arcs and even connect back to the first installment of the series. It’s remarkable how well a story so dense and plot-driven is able to hold itself together. All the elements and plotlines connect together so well, creating a wonderful fast-paced and tension-driven story. Needless to say, this novel comes off as more relevant than the previous novel, which felt very much like a filler.

With that in mind, anyone who loves Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica is going to love this space opera/sci-fi novel because it has all those science fiction elements right there in the novel. The imagination and creativity flows throughout the novel, taking the reader on a space adventure.

Another great aspect of the novel is the characterization. There are so many characters—each has their own inside plot that influences the outside plot, and each is very distinct. Anderson made sure that these characters have personalities, clash with some characters, and connect effortlessly with others. That’s another reason why shifting between character points of view was such a good decision on the writer’s part—it not only paints the scope of the novel, but it also allows the characters to live and breathe on the pages. They own those pages, and they shine on them. And after following the characters throughout the series thus far, readers will see that they continue to grow. No character is left behind nor are they forgotten, and who they are shines.

Every page is full of incredible detail and magnificent storytelling, making this novel an electrifying space opera.

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