I have been getting yelled at to read this book for years. I tried, really, but I just could not get into this. I finally decided to throw in the white towel and call it a DNF.
I was told that the book gets better, but I am not in the mood to suffer through trying to get to better. At 50 percent my major issues were that the world-building was not working for me, I could not get into the characters, and the writing was causing me keep mumbling to myself "what?!" and not in a good way.
I think the fact that the book is told through two separate POV/timelines is what through me off the most. I started having flashbacks to "The Girl Before" and am going to just beg authors to stop doing this mess. It's a gimmick that most often does not play out very well unless the two people have really distinct separate voices. For me the of Breq was not doing enough for me to care one way or the other.
The writing was hard to get past for me:
"I turned to look at her, to study her face. She was taller than most Nilters, but fat and pale as any of them."
What the hell is a Nilters. Why does this book keep introducing things and act like I should already know what it is?
"She out-bulked me, but I was taller, and I was also considerably stronger than I looked. She didn’t realize what she was playing with. She was probably male, to judge from the angular mazelike patterns quilting her shirt."
"She’d taken kef, I guessed. Most people will tell you that kef suppresses emotion, which it does, but that’s not all it does. There was a time when I could have explained exactly what kef does, and how, but I’m not what I once was. As far as I knew, people took kef so they could stop feeling something. Or because they believed that, emotions out of the way, supreme rationality would result, utter logic, true enlightenment. But it doesn’t work that way."
I swear most of this book reminds me of the time my friends and I went drinking in the woods and were having huge thoughts about space, stars, and aliens. And of course I was sober the next day and realized we were all talking out of our ass.
The flow was awful. It took me forever it felt like to just get up to 10 pages. I had to keep re-reading so much of the paragraphs before I would end up with 10 different questions when I would finish one sentence.
There are two other books in this series, and obviously based on this review I am not going to go forward with reading them.