Heaven's War by David S. Goyer and Michael Cassutt
432 pages Ace books
Thanks to the writers strike a few years ago The screenwriting duo behind this novel decided the movie they were developing might make a good novel and they tried their hand at a first novel. That novel Heaven's shadow that fantastic. In 2011 I said “This is an excellent addition to the the Big Dumb Object genre and my favorite Sci-fi novel I have read so far this year. The authors have built groundwork for a trilogy that cannot stay in the same sub-genre. That's great I am excited to see these characters again and the different direction the story will have to go into.”
I really loved the first book, though it operated on full warp drive and I was excited to read the sequel. I wonder if the first book benefited in way the follow-up did not from the writers strike. Were Goyer and Cassutt not as committed to this second book?
The first problem I had was that it seemed like nothing happened until 250 pages into the novel. There were lots of awkward flashback backgrounds of the characters and that didn't feel weaved into the book. They took over the first act of the book and helped to make the plot feel like it was sinking in quicksand. This was a planned trilogy, and that is a difficult part of a narrative how to write the middle book so it doesn't feel like a bridge. And that is sadly what this book feels like a bridge between book one and two.
Book two doesn't always have to suck. The middle part of trilogy is a dangerous business if you don't do it right. Do it right like say “Empire strikes back” or The Strain Trilogy then you can often craft the best entry in the series. Goyer should understand this as he just wrapped up writing a great film trilogy in Batman, that trilogy like Goyer's blade trilogy had strong second entries. What made those middle parts work is they took the tension up and knott left you worried for what was going to happen. (In empire the heroes lost, in the The Strain the world ended)
In this book I am not sure what happened. This is not a complaint you hear out of me about I think they undersolid the concept of the trilogy, but maybe I was just too lost on the book already. I made it through, but it was a boring read altogether. This makes me sad because I LOVED the first book. I greatly respect Goyer and think he is a wonderful story teller. I'll probably read the third book but I might not rush to do so.