Sunday, 17 November 2013

Frontline - Randolph Lalonde


The Holocaust Virus is beginning to spread uncontrollably through the galaxy, infecting every A.I. it comes across. In its lee, lie a series of desolated, lifeless worlds. Human casualties have risen to incomprehensible figures and even the sinister Regent Galactic is beginning to become sickened, trying their very best to divert the blame of the virus away from themselves.

Amidst all of the chaos, confusion and death, Jason, Ayan and Ming buu set off to rendezvous with Jacob Valence and his powerful warship, the Triton. Their journey will be far more dangerous than even they realise, as they will have to pass by Pandem – a tiny island planet that is to serve as the ‘beachhead’ the West Keepers need to launch their assault on the free galaxy.

The Good
Like its predecessors, Frontline is exciting and imaginative. The pace of the story is bang-on and it really builds up to an exciting ending. Randolph Lalonde has gone all out in this story and has held nothing back, slightly dipping into horror for the first time to create a grotesque form of science fiction. Lalonde carries this off well and really forms a harrowing picture of what the Holocaust Virus is doing to the worlds it infects.

The Bad
Once again, as with its predecessors, the main issue I had with Frontline was with its poor editing and the book is riddled with grammatical and colloquial mistakes. This is a shame really as the story itself is good, but Lalonde is clearly either editing his work himself or is paying a non-professional to do it for him. These mistakes really diminish his story and gives Frontline a slightly amateurish feel that I didn't like and was (in my opinion), easy for him to have avoided.

Frontline also continues to have some of the other problems I have mentioned previously: its dialogue is slightly clunky and doesn't really reflect how people speak in real life; Lalonde is still using irritating author’s tricks like using italics and words like ‘haf’ instead of ‘have’ in his dialogue that detract from the story; and, finally, much of his technology is just too good and convenient (even for science fiction)!

My Thoughts
So, would I recommend reading Frontline (or beginning Spinward Fringe) to you? Once again, the answer is yes. Despite its flaws, Frontline is a good story that I really enjoyed reading. It continues to be well-priced, especially because it is slightly longer than the other books, and reading it is an entertaining way to pass a long commute or a bit of free time.

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