"We Have Met The Enemy" by Felicia Watson
Although set in the 31st century, I think it is fair to say that the science fiction element of “We Have Met The Enemy” seems somewhat incidental, as this book relies so heavily on its soapy backstory, there could really have been anything going on in real time, and the outcome would have probably been the same.
Indeed, whilst Felicia actually has a really good sci-fi imagination, the genre does not appear to be the primary objective of her writing. Rather, family melodrama is the most prominent theme throughout, as well as a big focus on the frivolous, not-so-romantic encounters of its cast. The professional soldiers and scientists seem more concerned with sexual fancies and gossip than they do about the malevolent alien force which could wipe them out at any moment. There is something extremely centric about Felicia’s portrayal of the main character, Decker, as the entire cast of this book seem to be utterly and inexplicably engrossed in her personal life. Decker herself is a somewhat promiscuous person, who shamelessly plays the field, with a free-spirited reputation; she is also extremely tough and strong-willed. Whilst this is fun, and makes for some good heroics, I can’t say that any of it makes her character any more endearing, and I did find myself struggling to understand why any of the other characters even tolerate her, let alone like and respect her; I found it even more difficult to believe that military superiors would put up with her feisty insubordination.
Whilst the family backstory is actually pretty engaging, I did feel that it harmed the book’s sci-fi credentials quite significantly, which is perhaps a shame, because Felicia shows some extremely talented moments in this book. The supposedly main storyline is pretty good, the author knows the cliché and formula of her genre very well and the setpieces she creates are good quality – entertaining, engaging, well written and also extremely thought-provoking. But the moments of pure sci-fi are patchy - quite few and far between, and make way in favour of the melodrama; it feels a little like Jackie Collins doing “Star Trek”. In the second half, the book matures a little, which is welcome.
Felicia’s writing is otherwise professional and
high quality – the grammar too, although there is a number of typos too frequent
to ignore, and I would recommend another look at the punctuation. Generally, though, I think this book will
appeal to those who like family drama with a difference, rather than sci-fi fans,
and it would be untrue if I were to say I wasn’t engaged, because I was, and
sailed through this book in two evenings.
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In : Book Reviews
Tags: felicia-watson sci-fi fantasy