Steg de Coeur finds himself on the run after his homeworld is invaded and his family brutally murdered. Escaping just ahead of corporate mercenaries with warrants issued for treason against the Empire, he must unravel the mystery of the Glass Complex if he to have any chance of freeing his people and returning to his home land.
A few weeks ago I reviewed a series that was a blend of science fiction and fantasy, in that case the fantasy far outweighted any scifi elements and it didn't quite work. In Broken Glass John Hindmarsh is attempting the same sort of trick however this time it works very well indeed. The success is partly due to the incredibly rich and well written narrative but also that any old worlde medieval elements are downplayed and justified with a degree of charm and elegance.
Some books take a while before they romance you with their charms while others grab you right away, Broken Glass is the later - I was hooked from the very beginning; there is a quality to the prose that makes reading the book a real joy. World building and back-story are kept an absolute minimum while the plot moves along pretty sharpish with a fairly even pace that does however dip a little after the opening chapters for a little while - after which is pretty much full speed ahead the rest of the way.
The book details a dramatic vision of grand spaceships, unusual alien races and good old fashioned human failings. The action sequences are very well choreographed and finely balanced while the main characters are well described however the protagonist did seem a little wooden at times - admittedly those periods were however few and far between.
I love the idea of the glass complex and the vision that it engages in the reader, one of the greatest gifts science fiction can give is ideas and within Broken Glass are a number of excellent and well described ideas all set within a fairly compelling story that continues to build as the novel unfolds.
I very much enjoyed this book, the author clearly has a great deal of talent that shows in Broken Glass - it's a powerful start to a promising series.
Written by Antony, 23 September 2011.