August 6, 2015
The Ancillary, by David Kristoph
In a dangerously-close orbit around its star floats the Ancillary, a hollowed-out asteroid that harvests energy from the solar ring before relaying it deeper into the Sarian system. It fulfills the entirety of the Melisao Empire’s energy needs–a masterful feat of engineering, once. Now, with the star it orbits dying and the departure of the Exodus Fleet near, the Ancillary’s usefulness has come to an end. And so labors Javin, an aging engineer who must dismantle the structure he’s spent his entire life maintaining. But there are those who would take advantage of the Empire’s absence. Do they simply want the Ancillary and its precious solar panels, or are their motives more dire?
I read book two of Tales of a Dying Star (TOADS): The Ancillary after the author sent me a copy following my review of book one (TOADS: The Siege of Praetor), and the accompanying interview. I hadn’t cared for the ending of the first book. (I think I may have even been a little rude about it.) While the TOADS series doesn’t end with The Ancillary, I definitely liked its ending better than SOP.
The Ancillary story line is tighter, and I feel much more interesting than SOP. It been my experience that the sophomore book isn’t as good as the debut, but The Ancillary is a great book and a great story. If the writing stays as good as The Ancillary, This four-book series will see many more high-star reviews.
I went from reluctantly reading The Ancillary, to completely enjoying it, and looking forward to TOADS: Sword of Blue. I had rated SOP three stars, and I’m gonna bump the rating for The Ancillary to four stars because David Kristoph upped his game. Hopefully he’ll send me the next book and I’ll let you all know what I think. **wink, wink**
P.S. I think I’m hilarious by referring to the series title as TOADS.
David Kristoph lives with his wonderful wife and two not-quite German Shepherds. He’s a fantastic reader, great videogamer, good chess player, average cyclist, and mediocre runner. He writes mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy. Check out his work if you want to help pay for his beer.
About Mark Gardner
Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior.
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