Monday, March 17, 2014

Houses of Common Blog Tour with Derick William Dalton

Houses of Common
By Derick William Dalton
Publisher: Synaptic Labs, SP
Published: Jan. 9, 2014


In the 22nd century, pilgrims leave Earth for the nearby planets that terraformers have crafted to meet their needs. Ranyk is a smart-mouthed alien, the best of the world-builders employed by the US government--and he always completes his risky assignments solo, pushing to the deep recesses of space for the good of colonists and to avoid his growing fame.

Until he's handed an on-planet assignment in Ireland, of all places, as an undercover international student of aquaponics. His real plan? To pull scientists and their families 

out of a country careening toward civil war--and off earth to a world of their own before marital-law lockdown ends their ground-breaking discoveries.

Risking his life is no novelty for Ranyk. He's been battered by asteroids, nearly incinerated in volcanoes, and has out-piloted pirates. But political espionage on Earth is more dangerous that anything he's encountered before, and he's completely ill-equipped for such delicate matters. Now he must figure out who to trust and who to eliminate, or it will mean his freedom, the safety of forty thousand desperate colonists, and the lives of his friends.

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My Thoughts:

I found Houses of Common to be an interesting novel. I liked the general plot, and I found the characters to be interesting. I particularly enjoyed Ranyk and Sekiik who hailed originally from Rildj. He is quite the smart aleck, especially when he is suddenly awakened from hibernation.

I do have to admit that I was confused by some of the single page chapters that seemed to come out of nowhere, some of which contained conversations with no reference to who or where the speakers were. It was obvious that they were conspirators, but beyond that it made little sense and to me they added little to the story.

There was a lot happening in Houses of Common. In some ways it almost felt like reading two or three books at the same time. There was Ranyk’s situation with the Irish colonists, and there was Sekiik’s political situation with the Ambassador, plus Sean and the attempt on his life.

Each story was interesting in itself, and while they were all eventually related in some way, it was too much for one book.

Mr. Dalton wrote quite descriptively, including a lot of detail. Some of the detail made the images very easy to visualize, and that was wonderful. I liked how the author took what we can do in medical science today, and extended that a little further to what we might plausibly be able to do with it in the future.

The one thing that I just found a little too unbelievable was the ability of Sekiik to go flying in and out of the spacecraft in only a vac suit without a tether of any sort. At one point she was out there for an orbit around the moon after the craft she was in was destroyed.

I don’t mind books that are part of a series at all. However, I do prefer it when there is some kind of conclusion at the end of the book. Houses of Common did what I consider to be a pet peeve of mine when it comes to series books. It simply stopped. No conclusion to anything. No resolution of any sort. It was kind of like turning the page and finding the rest of the book missing.

I gave Houses of Common 3 stars out of 5 for it’s creativity and imagination. If you are a science fiction fan you’ll probably enjoy it, but you’ll have to be prepared to purchase book 2 if you want to find out the solution to any of the situations presented in the first book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About Derick William Dalton: 

Mr. Dalton is a professional student who has taken an occasional hiatus for such frivolities as teaching high school science, residential construction, and treating patients as a physician assistant. When not speaking of himself in the third person, he hangs out with his wife and kids and a smart-mouth turtle. He's also planning a mountain biking trip on the moon.

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