Nastragull (Pirates)- Erik Martin Willén


This first part of an epic Star Wars type of production is very entertaining, often gripping, and well written. It is also easy reading, which isn’t necessarily the same thing. The characters are strong, and the main ones are easily identifiable and very memorable.
There is only one thing wrong, and that is my reason for only giving the book four stars. In the mix are a couple of chapters of unnecessarily graphic sexual and sadistic activity. This may be considered a rather starchy view, but it is more than that. I am all for mixing genres, but not in this particular case SF adventure and “adult” material. Willén writes very well in both genres, the problem is in the mix. Indeed, I could include horror when considering one or two of the very descriptive violent actions.
The modern use of the term Space Opera, as used to describe this book by another reviewer, Blagent Jr., is, I think, highly appropriate. This book really is on a big production, dramatic, scale. The themes are familiar, but very well mixed, and although I can’t claim to have read any but a tiny fraction of these types of books I feel that there is more than a touch of originality as well. The story would work as big budget film, or possibly more realistically as some form of modern motion capture animation. I see fantastic potential here, if Willén can decide which audience he is really going for.
I never doubted that I would finish the book, and I was left with an interest in reading more. That is evidence enough for me that this writer deserves success. This is a full length, good value and highly entertaining novel. If this story appears with a greater purity of genre I will absolutely give the fifth star. As someone who detests the necessity of genre classification, I never thought I would say that.


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