On today’s show, I found a particularly obnoxious book that could have been so much better but wasn’t.
As I go through my review list, I often find books that push the envelope of conventional writing. I try to praise writers when they do this, but oftentimes I find myself doing the opposite. Because they put too much into the envelope and it tore.
So what happened with this week’s book that made me feel this way? For starters, what’s the name of the novel? Is it Amazons, Star Seed, or Nadine’s bible: Old testament? It’d be nice to know what I should call this thing. It has too many names.
Before I get to complaining, which I have lots to do, I should introduce the story and the main character first.
Nadine is a freed slave in the 1840s, being pursued by violent slave catchers. She defeats her captors and is rescued by a woman from a planet of women on… you guessed it... Venus. There’s some backstory in the beginning of the novel about Mars being full of evil men and Venus being full of women made by aliens from Nibiru. Naturally, they couldn’t get along when the humans were made and fell to civil war and separation. The women leadership of Venus essentially treat the Earth as enemy territory since the evil men control it. But that’s not why they chose Nadine. You see, Nadine has a light in her that comes from her family bloodline with Eve the first woman made by the Great Ones. Enhanced by the Venus women, she becomes a leading warrior and fights their enemies across space. She forms the Amazons, a band of warrior women loyal to the crown… or are they?
Later in the novel, Nadine wants to get revenge against the slave owner that plagued her family and in doing so, throws the future into turmoil. This forces the hand of men on Mars and across the galaxy to partner with the Queen of Venus to stop her or use her to fight the returning Great Ones or some other evil threat out there besides the many, many others the Venusians are currently fighting.
At the end of the novel, Nadine and the Amazon Warriors still loyal to her are hiding out somewhere while she figures out her new godlike powers. Or something. It’s...not really...clear.
What did I like about the story?
The story had a lot of pictures of the various aliens introduced in the chapter. These alien species are the ones you commonly see in UFO conspiracies. In the story, they all have entangling alliances and interests in the Sol system or with the various factions. This makes the story a bit of a lore mess but the pictures help keep track of who’s who.
Nadine’s rage and anger make sense considering how much she suffered at the hands of the slaveowners. She did not immediately want revenge, but when her hidden heritage came to light, she saw it as time to enact her will. If you really dislike the old South and evil men in general, you will like her and the characters she recruits.
What didn’t I like about the story?
It’s written like a series of diary entries. There is hardly any dialog or emotive expression or 3rd person perspective. I found it a bit jarring and even a bit irritating when reading the first 5 to 10 chapters where the backstory was discussed. I certainly would never write a book this way (Rimworld story). OK… maybe I did. But not in the same way.
Because of this writing style, I noticed more grammatical and spelling errors than I would have, had a more common style been used. It also made me more confused about the characters with the constant perspective switching later in the novel. I was confused as to whose mind I was reading because the titles of the chapters would only reference a character half the time.
I almost gave up on this book a couple of times. While I was slightly happy I didn’t, I felt most of the time reading it that I could have found better things to read.
The alien lore was a bit confusing and how the female characters felt about recruiting women from Earth and the bits about the shapeshifters. I think the author threw in too many alien groups from mythological lore to make it work and threw in too many fantastical bits that made it drift from sci-fi to fantasy to Paranormal & Urban young adult. It needed one villain, instead all became villains in some way shape or form.
I’m not a fan of it because of the diary style slash switching speaking narratives, but I did like the pictures and the revenge plots. You might like those parts and skip the rest. I give Nadine’s Bible book 1 a heresay rating of 2 out of 5 stars. It never had a prayer.
I recommend this book to angry feminists who like powerful women but can’t stand DC’s wonder woman.