Finished! It only took me about 3 days, it's a very readable and fluent book, it's easy to keep on reading for half a day at a time.
I liked it a lot, more than the previous intermediate chapter. A lot happens in it, and I liked that most characters had a moment to shine without overshadowing the others. Even Pulsar, of which I'm not a big fan, was fine in this book and the final development fits nicely with what you've done with her so far.
The Blight was great. I remember commenting that it didn't come across as a real menace in the previous books, but boy it did this time! It was like reading a sci-fi Resident Evil or zombie story, with these parasite-infested characters marching on and the heroes succumbing one by one. The scene where the entire group is defeated in an especially powerful one, probably my favourite in the entire series so far.
I see that you had to keep alternating characters to have enough space for everyone. Ultraa's coma meant he wasn't involved in any action but it was fine since Star Knight and Shiva already covered the superstrenght departement. It's like in the Avengers, isn't it? we don't have Thor, Hercules and Wonder Man all at the same time and different powers keep it varied.
Esro and Wolf are probably my favourites for this book, and Vanadium was great too (what a surprise in the end!). Another great moment was when they all went to Jameson's office ;D I'm sorry to see Fury and Heavyweight retire though, they haven't really done much in the series. I suppose with more and more characters joining you have to keep the numbers under control (hence the split in the end) but I would have liked to see more of them.
The Warlord trying to syphon the Rivals' energies was so much like Doc Doom in Secret Wars! I could almost see him about to engage the Worldmind in a battle of wills.
The only thing I didn't like was the demise of the entity possessing Anna. It felt rushed, like a way to get rid of it and decrease Anna's powers to a level that prevents her from being a "deus ex" solution to any problem in the future.
Now question time - it's probably just me being slow, but what does Damon find in the prologue? the "cure" that goes to form Fury's uniform?
- what was that orange energy in the box found by Star Knight? no one seems to care at all about it.
- why is the title "Stellarax" and not "The Blight"? it would have seemed more appropriate.
- another trilogy coming! When's the next book due? In fact, any news from A3 or is it never going to see the light?
Finally I'm glad you went for a digital edition too, I read most of my books on Kindle now and it was great being able to download it within seconds.
Post by Van Plexico on Jul 25, 2011 18:12:13 GMT -5
Gosh, I always love it when you post your reactions to these books, Shiryu! Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts about them.
Before I get to the replies: I was recently interviewed by the Book Cave podcast-- my interview takes up the entire episode, and I talk extensively about the Sentinels (as well as Assembled and other stuff). Here's the link:
To play or download the audio, look for a button just above the big Sentinels picture.
Now to some replies:
Very happy to hear that it is readable. I have been concerned that with so much happening in it, it might be confusing. It's hard to be objective about something you've spent so much time with. That's great.
Re the object Damon finds: That was a deliberate call-back to one of the very first chapters in the very first book! Go back and look at the start of "When Strikes the Warlord." You will see the rest of that scene from a different perspective, including the item. I have waited six long years to finally get to pay that little bit off! ;D There's also a chapter toward the end of the first book where the Field Marshall steals that item from Esro. It all joins back together. And yes, you are correct about what it actually is. I set it up a looong time ago!
Re the title: I think it's true that either of those titles would have worked. Originally the title was something like "Galactic Conflagration," but I decided that was too long and too complicated. I liked the sound of "Stellarax," and I felt the one-word title fit in nicely to follow "Worldmind." In fact, if I had it to do over, I would have called the one before that "Vanguard" instead of "The Shiva Advent," I think. So it would have gone "Vanguard, Worldmind, Stellarax." The Blight just doesn't "sound" quite as cool, at least to me.
Re the fire entity: Wait and see! The Sentinels were sort of busy with other (bigger) matters and sort of forgot about him/it. That may have been a mistake!
Re the next trilogy: Yep, the next trilogy is called "Order Above All," and the first volume will be called "Metalgod." I've already started working on it and, the title aside, you can probably guess who the main villain in it will be, based on what you've seen in recent volumes. I have a few other projects that will be demanding my attention soon, so it probably will be next spring before it's out. They've been coming out in May or June the last few years. And Chris Kohler will do the covers of this trilogy!
Re A3: In my recent interview on the Book Cave, I promised to wrap up A3 before the Avengers movie comes out. We shall see. A whole lot of it will have to be redone or expanded now...!
I was very happy to be able to get digital editions of all six out for folks to enjoy. And at those (low!) prices, too.
Note also that my most critically-acclaimed novel, LUCIAN: DARK GOD'S HOMECOMING, is also now available for Kindle.
Post by pulpcitizen on Aug 2, 2011 17:17:02 GMT -5
Also enjoyed Stellerax; the strongest of the latest trilogy. I felt this was a more focused read than the preceding instalment, although I still think that across this trilogy two characters (the Fury and Heavyweight) have been under-used (despite the denouement) and really have not been given the chance to shine in favour of a slew of newcomers (Anna Maldini, Shiva, Wolf, Star Knight) - I would have liked to have seen meatier roles for both and not such limited usage.
A most enjoyable book, but one that I hope signals an end to the cosmic focus for a short while; I would love to see a more Earth-bound novel or trilogy; a story arc that allows the supporting characters to develop more which is very difficult with the outer space stuff since it naturally excludes the non-powered characters such as Otto, Tommy etc.
I would love a Sentinels novel seeing them taking on the remnants of SHADE or oher such threat in distinctly Earthly locales, but that is just one preference.
Keep up the great work; as long as you are writing them I will be reading.