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4 Small Stars

While this was a very good science fiction book, I can’t stand the name or title nor some of the names of the characters in the book. Why can’t authors use names that are pronounceable by most English language readers? I struggled with how to pronounce the title, “Ephhialtes” and had to look it up several times before it stuck in my head. Now, I know I’m not the brightest book reader, but that is certainly a strange name for anything. Additionally, the last name for one of the main characters is “Karjalianen”. How do you pronounce that? Then there’s a couple of prominent companies, “Hjälp Tenknik” and “Venkdt Corporation”, which I can’t pronounce either. And who names their daughter, “Askel”? So, for the author, please come up with some names that make sense to English speaking readers, please. (I know it’s already to late, but I needed to vent!)

So, what’s the book about. Well, it’s about Mars wanting it’s independence from Earth. Now that Mars has become self-sufficient, it no longer feels the need to be governed by Earth and specifically the USAN (United States and Nations). Mars, led by the CEO of the largest Martian corporation, Venkdt Corporation, decide to how a general election and see if the people of Mars truly want to be independent. The vote turns out to be overwhelmingly, “Yes”, so Mars, through the Venkdt Corp. begins severing all normal ties with USAN. One of the major hurtles will be buying the stock from the parent Venkdt Corp. on Earth by the Martians. The problem is the USAN and the parent Venkdt Corp. don’t want and independent Mars nor do they want to sell their holding on Mars. Mars is the largest supplier of deuterium for the USAN which uses that supply to heat peoples homes, drive their cars, and just about anything related to energy.

USAN decides that Mars will not be allowed to go independent. Now how they come to that decision is kind of dumb given that USAN has no deep space capability and it currently takes USAN almost two years to go back and forth to Mars when the two planets orbits are reasonable. Still, the President of USAN insist that Mars can’t just claim independence and be done with it. He has two massive spaceships orbiting Earth that are not deep space vehicles until he tells the Sec Def. to make them so, and send them to Mars. From there all sorts of idiotic things start to happen. It’s interesting reading, but highly improbable. I even question that Mars can be really independent from Earth since their entire population has just reached 100,000. That’s barely enough to sustain any kind of colony, much less run a planet and gather resources you now have to sell to someone so far, far away.

The writing was good although you could kind of see what was going to happen before it did in quite a few places. And, there are some very, very smart people on Mars and a lot of very dumb people running Earth. I don’t see how the dumb people of Earth are going to come out of this series of books very well.

One more thing that’s kind of disturbing. The author states that this is a trilogy with the first book released in September of 2015. The second book won’t be out until sometime in 2017. That’s a long time to keep an audience interested in your story. Maybe too long?

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