Unlike a lot of my vacations, I didn’t end up reading too much in Munich, I think because I ended up doing more, and having less downtime. In some ways that’s good (more stories), but the downside is that I spent less time relaxing and reading.
That said, the first book I finished on the trip was Downbelow Station, the Hugo-winning start of the trio of novels that continues with Cyteen and Regenesis (mistakenly spelled Regenesisis in the inside flap of my copy of the first book).
It was a good book. I think one of the more common complaints about it is that it’s plodding and slow. It was plodding and slow, to some degree, but I don’t think that’s as big of an issue as some people make out. It’s a book of galactic politics and interstellar war, two things that don’t happen particularly fast. I felt like the pacing gave an appropriate amount of drama and intrigue, without becoming too action-packed to make sense or too plodding to keep one’s interest.
What I found a bit more irritating was how damn predictable the entire thing was. It was pretty clear how things were going to play out. C. J. Cherryh likes to beat you in the head with foreshadowing, from the very get-go, in hopes of making sure you’re not surprised by anything later. It’s way too overdone. There are no surprises in this book. Nothing the reader isn’t prepped for. It’s a style of writing, but not a style I appreciate.
I think it’s still worth reading, and I’ll take on Cyteen as well, I’m sure, since it is also highly regarded (if not moreso). But I hope to discover a bit more is left to the imagination. 6/10.