Perilous Waif, by E William Brown Rothdas book review RSS
1.5 Stars

A silly novel about sci-fi fighting that is further flawed by its right wing flare ups. One way to describe Perilous Waif would be as the novelization of a _Total Annihilation_ match. There's a lot of robots building larger robots to build still other robots with guns and lasers and armor and going pew-pew at each other. Another way to describe the book would be to say that it is a sci-fi monty haul campaign, with characters rapidly levelly up to ludicrous power tiers and equipment loadouts. One side character goes from ROM chip, to maintenance android, to advanced combat mech, to gigantic-dragon-shaped-self-replicating-nanite-swarm-combat-mech in the space of like 100 pages. The main character follows a similar arc through the story. There's an enormous of focus on made up sci-fi weapons and combat mechs and loadouts. In that aspect it reminds me of the drawings I would make in elementary school, of cybernetic tigers with lazers mounted on their eyes and sword-tails. And in general the book has a lot of sort of pandering, low value, extruded product feel to it. It has a certain target it wants to hit (e.g. that Ender's Game fantasy of competence and battle and weapons and tactics), and it just goes after that target with unwavering consistency. It's a bit like the nerd-male version of the constant churn of e-books about women having to choose between vampires/werewolves/werewolf-billionaires/vampire rockstar/half-were-wolf-half-vampire-witch/ etc. etc. It has a fantasy that it wants to play to, and the author needs to write 500 pages of that fantasy in 2 months because that's just what the economics of the e-book industry is right now.

Anyway! So that's the basic problem with the book. A smaller but recurring problem is that it inserts idiotic right wing views into the story. It's not nearly as bad as _The Departure_, and I'm not afraid that the author is going to shoot up a women's college, but it's still an annoyance and it's an annoyance that I have little patience for in 2018. The book rags on vegetarianism (healthy, cheap, reduces your footprint and in general is a vote for human beings not going extinct), on not having a hand gun with you at all times (number of times the author or myself have needed to shoot someone, 0. Maybe not actually needed in most areas of civilization?), on any attempt to resolve things peacefully or any universe in which that could be a useful avenue. Also has gold as a currency in the far future when there are nanites and matter-fabricators everywhere. Also replicates a lot of the most boring parts of 21st century gender relations. Also doesn't really come out and make an apologia for Nazi Germany, but you know, good people on both sides. Again, not really interested in this in 2018.