Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Review: Eternal Horizon
Available through Amazon.com
In a nutshell, if a book borrows so heavily from Star Wars you think you might need to contact LucasFilm about possible copyright infringement sounds good, then this book is for you.
I know the old saw "There's nothing new under the sun", but come on people, a little effort at originality isn't expecting too much, is it?
I started Eternal Horizon with high hopes.
Our protagonist, Vincent Saturn, is an FBI agent at the scene of what seems to be a UFO crash. His curiosity outstrips his order not to investigate, the military is on the way, and he boards the downed vessel.
Next thing you know, Vincent sees a figure inside, obviously in distress and BAM, out goes Vincent, the last thing he sees is white lights.
He wakes up literally in another world...where the horrible EMPIRE is waging war against REBELS. No one knows what a "human" is or where a planet called Earth is, so he's sort of stuck. He falls in with the REBELS, who also have a Senator who is a PRINCESS...you think the comparisons stop here?
I thought when I got to the introduction of Princess GAIA (Leia anyone?), the parallels would end. But no. Vincent is participating in a Rebel incursion, aboard a spaceship, where their leader is being held, and gets into a battle. He witnesses the bad guy hold out his hand and a weapon files out of the hands of the wielder into the bad guy's hand. What's that I smell? Do you smell the Force? I sure do.
So then we have Sage Warriors who mostly have to learn their Force-like skills, except for Vincent who was given his when he tried to aid the person in the downed vessel on Earth. Wait. Where have I see that before? Isn't this like when Obi Wan says if he's stricken down he'll be even more powerful than Vader can possibly imagine? Hey! Yeah! It's just like that!
There's a climactic battle between the good guys and the bad guys...which ends predictably.
There's the budding love interest between Vincent and Gaia, with a predictable outcome.
And last, but not least, there's the predictable ending with one of the BIG BAD GUYS wanting Vincent Saturn brought to him...at all costs, thus setting the stage for.......*drum roll*........The Hunt For Saturn.
I swear I'm not making this up.
It's fine to use elements as a nod to a previous source.
It's also fine to use a few more to make an homage.
It is not fine to use so many that your work starts to look like someone else's work.
At the beginning I had high hopes for this book. The characters were engaging, the action moved well, and the dialog, set pieces and action sequences were good. At one point I was all set to contact Baen Books, a publisher of science fiction and say, "Hey you guys need to look at this writer! I think he's on to something!"
Sadly, as the book wore on and the Star Wars elements stacked up, I felt more like contacting George Lucas and telling him he might want to file an injunction.
Mr. Roman has the writing skills...all he needs are some original ideas to put with them.