Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: The Last Dancer

After The Long Run, I had to go back and read The Last Dancer as well. Note that the paper copy of the book is long out of print, and fetches insane prices on the internet. But the digital version is very nicely priced.

I keep remembering this book as "Denice's book." We meet Denice in The Long Run, where she shows up as Trent's childhood friend. Having read it recently, I'm surprised at how much of this book isn't actually about Denice. It's about a piece of Moran's "Continuing Time" and the origins of the human race as a transplanted exile subculture of a longer running galactic civilization. The book's full of plot-holes, including a galactic civilization 10 light years away that hasn't picked up Earth's strong radio signals yet. It also has a few jarring bits of ignorance, such as someone referring to Japanese as a tonal language. Uh, no. Japanese is not a tonal language.

What you do get in this book is a lot of big explosions, and bits of half-baked philosophy here and there. Without Trent's larger than life personality to drive forward the plot at a breathless pace, this book was a lot harder to pay attention to, and probably one of his weakest book. (His weakest book is probably Emerald Eyes)

This is one of those books that I read when I was young and thoroughly enjoyed, hoping for more, but fails to hold up as I got older. It's only mildly recommended as an airplane novel.
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