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Book Title: Transmission|
The author of the book: John Meaney
ISBN 13: 9780575085350
Date of issue: January 1st 2012
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 424 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.3
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I liked the first novel in the series, but this second one... it annoyed me. There are some good aspects, but the faults are too annoying (and in some cases worrying) to overlook.
(view spoiler)[First of all, the fact that, for a character who is supposed to be the hero of his timeline, Roger Blackstone is a rather unlikeable person. His best friend/girlfriend from the previous novel suffers severe trauma - and rather than looking after her as we might expect, he runs off and shacks up with the first woman he sees. Hardly heroic behaviour - and the sex scenes are written in a cringeworthy "poetic" fashion that just comes across as silly. They don't even serve any purpose to the plot. The author has just thrown in sex scenes because he can and it seems like the author doesn't know what else to do with many of the female characters.
Then, in the WW2-set section, our scientific genius and independent lady, Gavriela inexplicably ends up having sex with a colleague with whom there has been no trace of any relationship at all, no hint of any kind of chemistry, but we're meant to believe that she simply submits to him because he rubs himself up against her? In my book, if a bloke does that, it's sexual assault. The whole scene just leaves an unpleasant taste - and makes little sense given that we later learn that said bloke prefers other blokes anyway... it seems the whole thing is contrived as an excuse to create a lineage of future characters. Surely the author could have done better than that???
And that's before we mention the repeated use of the world b**** to refer to the (female) villain. And by repeated, I mean multiple times on certain pages by the supposedly heroic main character who seems to have no other insults in his vocabulary. As if the author wants to imply that somehow her gender has anything to do with her being a villain. You're left with a sense of misogynistic bias.
And then there's the repeated emphasis on the villainous entity being a "shape-shifter and gender changer". For most SF/Fantasy readers, we automatically assume that shape-shifting includes the ability to change gender anyway - so why does the author feel the need to emphasise it? It comes across as if the author is trying to imply that there is something evil about changing gender - and that sounds uncomfortably transphobic. (hide spoiler)]
I could carry on, but I'd be here all evening. There some good ideas in this book - the different timelines are interesting, because now we are starting to get hints of how they link together. The technology and different worlds are imaginative - but the book is let down by inconsistent characterisation, an unlikeable brat of a hero and the writer's awful treatment of female characters. No doubt some people will think I'm being overly critical, but it's my honest opinion.
As I said, I liked the first book in this series, but this second one is such a let-down.
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Read information about the authorJohn Meaney also writes as Thomas Blackthorne.
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