I've been doing some book reviews lately, mainly for the Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopia, and Romance Writers and Reviewers group on Goodreads, and decided to start posting them here too, to spread the word about some interesting new authors I'm finding.
this is NOT a book review blog! Don't start sending me messages asking
me to review books. I review books strictly on my own whim and
discretion, mainly for my Goodreads group but also of other books that
catch my fancy. Once I get caught up with my backlog of reviews, they'll only appear once or maybe twice a week.
So, here's my review of The Great Succession Crisis, by Laurel A. Rockefeller.
*** (3 stars)
(I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of giving an honest review.)
Great Succession Crisis is a science fiction/science fantasy dealing
with the question of female inheritance of the throne on the planet
Beinan. The most notable thing about the novel is the extensive,
deeply-layered, detailed worldbuilding. The author has put a great
amount of thought and work into developing Beinan: physics, history,
politics, social mores, technology, food, religion, weaponry, fashion,
down to measurements of time and distance.
For my own personal
preferences, I would have liked to get to know the characters on a more
personal level before diving into the history and politics. But once the
basic situation was set up (the daughter of a female ruler cannot
inherit, and Queen Isabelle's only son is unwilling to take the throne,
leaving Princess Anlei the only - illegal - heir) and the story-telling
turned to the characters, I found myself engaged by the romance between
Caronn and Anlei and the threats to their happiness and their world's
Some stylistic quirks in the writing kept me from
being able to fully immerse myself in the story. The author uses a lot
of different words in place of "said" in dialogue attribution. I found
this distracting, especially when the word being used is not a
functional synonym for "said." The novel is also dialogue-heavy, and
both dialogue and narrative contained more detail than I was able to
There's an interesting framing device, setting the story
as "data transmission files" sent by someone from Beinan who
crash-landed on a planet referred to as D425E25 Tertius. I'm curious to
know more about this storyline.
The author classifies The Great
Succession Crisis as science fiction, but me being a fantasy nut, I
consider it science fantasy because of some quasi-magical foretelling
and empathic abilities that some of the characters display.
extended edition comes with numerous appendices laying out Ms.
Rockefeller's truly breathtaking worldbuilding, along with a couple of
related short stories, some of her non-fiction essays, and a recipe for
Beinan-style fruit pastries.
Overall, The Great Succession Crisis
is an interesting story with characters I came to care about in a
richy-developed world. Rated a solid 3 stars, meaning I liked it.