Persephone Station

Monday, January 11, 2021

Persephone Station
Stina Leicht, 2021

New Release! A digital copy of this book was provided by Netgalley for the purpose of review.

Premise: There's only one human settlement on the planet Persephone, but there's a secret outside the city that some would kill to possess and some would die to protect.

This is one of those books that I regret to say was only fine. The cast has a great level of diversity in race, gender expression, and sexual orientation. However, the book is no more than an okay sci-fi action caper. 

The first chapter is really a prologue, but because it wasn't marked as such, I was confused when we never returned to following that character. (They do show up as a minor character much later, but by that point, I'd forgotten which character that was.) The secondary protagonist is the subject of the second chapter, and we finally meet the main character in chapter 3. She's fine, but nothing really stands out about her. 

That feeling was my main problem with the book - that there's a promising premise, but everything is underwhelming in execution. The mercenary characters help protect an alien city, but the action is nothing special. The aliens are implied to be special in lots of mysterious ways, but all we learn by the end is that they have advanced medicine, talk with smell, and are shapeshifters. It's neat, but it's not unique or dealt with in enough depth to be engrossing. 

There's a lot of references to the criminal underworld of the main human city, but we don't really see anything else in human society, so it just seems like a generic cyberpunk tone. There's another plot following an AI character, but we barely return to her perspective once her plot line coincides with the others. Overall the ending is unsatisfying; the intended emotional payoffs don't quite land. There are so many characters that I never felt compelled by any of them. The book is called "Persephone Station," but we never hear anything about the station until it's suddenly the setting for the final climax. 

Overall it's a decent read, I swear it is, but I wish it were more than that. 

2 Stars - An Okay Book (although I'm tempted to give it a bonus star for doing a decent job with the challenge of writing a character who uses they/them pronouns)

(P.S. I really REALLY hope that the "uncorrected proof" warning was true for this book. I got an advance copy, and there were an unusual number of typos, even for an advance copy.)

1 comment:

Bob/Sally said...

The first third of the book was a slog of info dumping on characters, but they made the book for me.

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