Minder Rising (Central Galactic Concordance, #2)Minder Rising by Carol Van Natta
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Although I gave this 2 stars, there are some very strong positives in this novel. First, the world-building is great and feels detailed and well-developed. Also, the characters feel real and have detailed histories, right down to the relationships with multiple generations of their families. There’s also an interesting mechanic in the various version of psychic powers of the minders. Also, the writing itself is technically well crafted and easy to read. Finally, if you’re interested in such things, there is a strongly diverse cast of characters both racially and sexually.

So, what were the weaknesses?

First, a purely cosmetic issue is the cover. The 70’s disco look gave me the impression of a fun, crazy sci-fi story, which this was not.

Second, I believe this novel is listed in the wrong genre. This story is categorized on Amazon as Science Fiction –> Galactic Empire / Galactic Engineering. This gives the impression of a space opera. However, I would argue both from the events of the first and last chapters, that this is primarily a romance story within a science fiction setting. This idea is further supported by the fact that so much of the story (well over half) is concerned specifically with the budding romance of the main characters.

Finally, ignoring the prologue, there are no plot developments of note until a minor one the 45% point in the story, and then again around the 60%, where the plot finally activates. Other than these points we are treated to well-developed characters chatting with friends and family in a detailed world with virtually no threats worthy of our attention. So, for a science fiction story, I would suggest that the pacing needs reworking, although for a romance it’s probably fine. Personally, I only managed to get through the story because all other aspects were so well written and crafted.

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