The Phantom of the Earth
This sprawling epic demands that you live in it until there is nothing left to live through. The 1700 pages of this omnibus were a bit daunting, and the writing is a bit consistent through the from book to book to start, but once it hits full stride it relentlessly pounds it’s way through. The world was so richly rendered that my dreams were pushed into its high-tension, high-stakes fight against the extinction of mankind.
The author paid very high attention to scientific details and consulted with specialists on certain topics. Certain elements appear a bit ad nauseam, and certain cumbersome technical phrases might have benefited from the occasional euphemism or colloquialism, but over all the writing is fairly crisp and rarely strays into excessive exposition. I’m not entirely sure this book passes the Bechdel Test, but there are several Lady Badasses who are among the most important and iconic characters of the story. The society as a whole appears to be mostly egalitarian, with male and female characters in every level of high and low standing.
I grade the individual books from 3-5 stars, but the final three are very strong and worthy additions to the written universe. I give the omnibus a 4.5 for the magnitude and focus it maintained with such a massive tale exploding, then spiraling back into a tight conclusion. I very much look forward to seeing where Raeden Zen takes us in this world. For now, I am taking a deep breath and moving on to something a bit shorter and lighter, something with levity and outside air to breath!