02 August, 2010

Book Review: Nemesis

{Would have had this out yesterday, but there wasn't time to finish it.}

Title: Nemesis
Author: Isaac Asimov
Publisher: Doubleday
Genre: Science Fiction
Page Count: 364
Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Cover Rating: 4 out of 5. I like it. :) It's much more attractive in real life, and the colors aren't as dull as they appear above on my copy. There isn't any "phenomenal" review stuff either. [Image via Wikipedia]

Inside flap:

A.D. 2236. Earth and its one hundred space colines are crowded, anarchical, socially degenerate. Some two light-years distant, hidden in a corner of the Galaxy, burns a star that supports its own burgeoning planetary system: Megas, Erythro, and Rotor, a renegade Earth colony. The star is named Nemesis . . .
   When Nemesis was discovered, it was seen as the last hope of the human race, a starting point for a brave band of adventurers led by brilliant--if megalomaniac--Janus Pitt on Rotor. Pitt and his loyal followers had secretly detached themselved from Earth's orbit and traveled via superluminal flight to the Nemetic System to establish a new Utopia--a society stronger, purer, and ultimately superior to the one left behind.
   Now, however, a fifteen-year-old Rotorian girl has learned of the subtle yet dire threat that Nemesis poses to Earth and its people--but she is prevented from warning them. For Pitt was dedicated his life to ensuring that his new civilization will be the supreme power of the Galaxy, no matter what the cost. And he will not let anything--or anyone--stand in his way. But as Marlene digs deeper, she discovers that Nemesis threatens not only Earth but Rotor as well. And now it is up to her to save both Earth and Rotor as, drawn inexorably by Nemesis, the death star, they hurtle toward sure disaster.
(This isn't totally correct. It links things that aren't exactly linked in the book, but it sounds dramatic, no?)

My expectations: after having read I, Robot I expected a good plot and a good setting.

I got it. The plot was complicated, and it involved many different factors. There are different people, different political pressures, different administrations and values warring with each other over what to do. I like that sort of conflict in a book.

The setting was good, too. I love science fiction almost all of the time, and worlds and technologies presented in Nemesis kept me interested. I like the idea of "Settlements" though I had some confusion over what they meant by a settlement at the beginning.

The characters were another thing. I really liked Marlene (it's pronounced mar-LAY-nuh, BTW, and don't you forget it) and I really liked Siever Genarr. Marlene can read body language, intonation, and other factors that we humans use to unconsciously express our feelings, and she can decipher emotions as if they were written on a person's forehead. She's perceptive, and I love characters who have much more than good looks.

Siever is a good commander. He isn't cruel, he's sensible, he goes along with Marlene, and he isn't the megalomaniac that Janus Pitt is.

Janus Pitt is a manipulative snake. He's a good bad guy, though, since his motives are to aid society but he does it in a cruel and brutal fashion. It complicates things, and that's always a good thing when it comes to antagonists.

Eugenia Insigna--Marlene's mother--I didn't really like. She didn't treat her husband all that well once they'd been married for a while, and I found her attitude a bit irritating.

Crile Fisher, father of Marlene. Hrrrm. Rhymes with "vile". Okay, so I don't like him. I don't like the way he kept clinging to the memory of Marlene when he was actually just looking for a reincarnation of his sister, and I don't like the way he treated Insigna. I despise his relationship with Tessa Wendel, and I was irked with him at the end, though not as much as I could have been.

Tessa Wendel . . . I mean, she's okay, but I don't really like her. A bit stuck-up, a bit controlling, and a bit . . . well, vain, I guess. As mentioned above, I don't like her relationship with Crile Fisher.

Overall, this was a good read. I liked a couple of the characters (almost loved) but the others I did not. I like being able to rally behind more than just a few, but that was not the case with this particular book. The plot, as mentioned above, was good, and I enjoyed the end; that's always a plus.

Other: no bad language, but there is the affair between Fisher and Wendel, when he's sent to "persuade" her.

Do I recommend this book? It was a good read overall, so sure.

-----The Golden Eagle

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Alyssa Kirk said...

Haven't heard of this one. Sounds interesting and convoluted. Great review!

Teens Read and Write

Golden Eagle said...

Thanks, Alyssa! :)

laughingwolf said...


if you have time, tackle my fave by asimov: the foundation trilogy [i figured out the ending on my own before i got there, i tend to do that... often]

a bit weird, but worth the read: douglas adams', the hitch-hikers trilogy

The Words Crafter said...

I really need to find time to get some serious reading done....

Golden Eagle said...

Laughingwolf: Heard of The Foundation Trilogy! Library had a book or two, but I already had enough books to carry that day. :P Never heard of the Hitch-Hikers Trilogy, but the author rings a bell . . .

The Words Crafter: I'm sure you'll get around to reading. :)

laughingwolf said...

doug wrote, among other things, the hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy