One dung Beetle
Abducted humans wake up aboard an alien spaceship. The aliens have been collecting apex predators from various planets, but for some reason the predators are waking up and running loose on the ship. Plus, an automated defense system is trying to kill all life on the ship. Plus, the ship is about to crash into a planet. Plus, space pirates are boarding the ship. How could this story possibly be dull? Well, pull up a chair, and I’ll tell you exactly how.
From most annoying to least annoying:
An omniscient character shows up to help the abducted humans. They never have to figure out anything for themselves, or wonder if they’re taking the right course of action. Super-dude answers all their questions immediately, and knows exactly how to get out of all their predicaments. Super-dude is a time traveler, and some positive Amazon reviews have said this story is like Doctor Who. I haven’t watched Dr. Who recently; is it as boring as this? Also, if super-dude is a time traveler, why doesn’t he rescue the humans last week when there aren’t so many problems aboard the spaceship?
One of the humans is a computer geek, and he spends a large amount of the group’s time talking to super-dude about how the ship’s computer system dongle-beaner interfaces with the cloud computing whatzit. Apparently, that is more important than what kind of predators and killer robots are on board, whether there are any personal weapons available, or where the ship’s exits are. Never mind why a 21st-century computer geek can converse intelligently about an alien computer system which is possibly from the future and/or another dimension. If you brought some guy from the middle ages to the present day and showed him your minivan, he’d probably ask you whether it used bronze or iron horseshoes. Fortunately, the geek died before I had to figure out how to transform into a fictional character, insert myself into the story, and beat him to death.
The author takes a unique approach to show versus tell: he does both. He describes a pirate — how he’s muscular, covered with tattoos, and carrying a big gun, and then writes “this guy looks dangerous.” In another instance, a character sacrifices himself for the group, and then one of the characters has to remark that it was a self-sacrifice. At least we now know who the ship belongs to: Captain Obvious.
When the characters are first introduced, their clothing is described in ridiculous detail. I’ve read clothing catalogs with less description of clothing.
At least one of the characters keeps ‘half-smiling’. I tried to do this in the mirror. The best I could do was to smile with one side of my face but not the other. I looked like I was having a stroke.