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Persephone Station de Stina Leicht

Persephone Station (edição: 2021)

de Stina Leicht (Autor)

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899235,287 (3.89)3

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Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
DNF too exposition heavy for me, I found myself zoning out and losing interest.

May return later to give it another shot.
  shotagofish | May 3, 2021 |
This was an enjoyable scifi romp, full of action and glimpses of future tech and alien worlds. The most notable and noticeable aspect of the book is that so many of the characters are LGBTQ+, and that this fact is completely normal, accepted, and not noteworthy in any way within this culture. That is so refreshing and aspirational. I did feel, however, that the tone of the writing and dialog was off somehow, with a frivolousness not matching up with the seriousness of the situations, particularly in the battle scenes. Or maybe that was more related to the audiobook narrator than to the actual writing style. Whichever it was, it did put me off a bit, and often took me out of the story. ( )
  RandyRasa | Mar 1, 2021 |

I enjoyed 'Persephone Station' and I'd love to read more novels by Stina Leicht. Her approach is fresh and inclusive. She delivers an action-packed story about a heroic struggle against impossible odds and still manages to weave humour throughout the story.

Her military SF hardware is credible and impressive without ever devolving into 'see-how-big-my-gun-is?' fetishism. The aliens she imagines really are alien, literally having to alter themselves even to communicate with humans. Her AI technology (she calls them AGIs) is fascinating. She imagines a sentient AI in a human body as 'a machine wearing a human-suit' and then compares them to Mechs - war robots with human riders inside- which she sees as humans wearing a machine suit.

There are strong themes about diversity amongst sentient creatures. At the same time, the body count is high. the battle scenes are graphic and there are a couple of assignations, a bit of attempted genocide and torture scene to keep everyone focused.

The storytelling seemed classic SF at first. We got dropped into the middle of the action and invited to catch up. The cast was fairly large and very diverse, nobody's motives were clear and there was a lot to learn about the world the action was taking place in. My favourite way to start an SF story.

Then, as I started to understand the story, I was surprised by how self-aware the trope twisting was. ‘Persephone Station’ reimagines Kurosawa’s ‘Seven Samurai’ with the villagers as a sentient alien species on a remote planet, the bandits as an evil corporation led by a merciless woman and the Samurai as a group of female mercenaries willing to take on a suicide mission. Just in case I missed that point, the AI controlling the Drop Ship our mercenaries fly in is called Kurosawa. Then there were the references to Persephone and Kora, Greek Myths about an abducted woman ruling in Hell that fit the story perfectly but still had that see-what-I-did-there? Easter Egg Hunt feel to them.

Stina Leicht twisted the Military SF tropes so hard, they cried. Military SF is often a testosterone-laden sub-genre populated with laconic-to-the-point-of-emotional-constipation heroic males with a thing for big guns. In Persephone Station, the only roles men get to play are as lover (off-screen), father (dead) and assassination victim (soon to be dead) and cannon-fodder (also soon to be dead). Anyone interesting is either female or of a non-male gender. This seemed to have little effect on the bad guys who were evil in the same way a male might have been in the same circumstances, but the relationships between the good guys were quite different. Yes, they were aggressive, competitive and lethal but they were also more willing to express their emotions, more obviously committed to each other and way wittier.

I liked the AI at the centre of the story. She (of course, it was a she) and her sisters (again, of course, she had sisters) had an interesting way of looking at both humans and other AIs. They were powerful and confident without needing to be dominant or territorial.

There were some things that lessened my enjoyment of the book. I felt at an emotional distance from the characters until the last half of the book. I was told what they were thinking and feeling but I wasn't given enough to feel it with them. Once the fighting started, everything got better but in the build-up, the emotional commitment felt less real. I also felt the pacing lagged in the middle of the book. I regretted that the aliens faded away into passivity. The book started from the point of view of the aliens. They were very interesting aliens and yet we never returned to their point of view and by the end, they played an almost entirely passive role in the plot.

I listened to the audiobook version of 'Persephone Station'. Audiobooks are usually my preferred way of reading SF but on this occasion, I'd have swapped over to an ebook version if one had been available. Maria Liatis' narration wasn't bad but it lacked some things that would have made it easier to enjoy 'Persephone Station'. With a couple of exceptions, the characters weren't given voices that were distinctive enough that I knew who was speaking as soon as I heard them. Kurosawa was meant to have a Japanese accent. The phrasing was there but the accent wasn't. Maria Liatis is easy to listen to but there were times when her default rhythms were at odds with the text. She managed dialogue well but seemed not to understand the technical descriptions and put stresses in odd places.

None of this stopped me from enjoying 'Persephone Station'. I'll think Stina Leicht is a talent to watch.


( )
  MikeFinnFiction | Jan 26, 2021 |
Leicht, Stina. Persephone Station. Saga Press, 2021.
What we have here is genderpunk space opera with lots of tropes from movie westerns like The Magnificent Seven and The Wild Bunch. As much fun as all this sounds, and sometimes is, Persephone Station is a near miss for me. At over 500 pages, the novel is not short, yet it seems overcrowded and rushed. There is a lot of world-building to do, alien cultures to describe, corporate malfeasance to explain, several religious and philosophical movements to bring on the stage, and a whole slew of characters in Angel’s mercenary band that we are asked to care about. Most reviewers see the friendship between team leader Angel and her pal Sukyi as the novel’s emotional center, but I wanted to hear more about Kennedy Liu, the sentient Artificial General Intelligence that has been downloaded into a human body. Kennedy’s scenes are the ones that stood out most for me, as did the conversations with Kurosawa, the purportedly non-sentient ship AGI. So far, the novel is not a part of a series, but if it sells well, I would not be surprised if Stina Leicht sets more stories in this world. There is plenty of room to grow. ( )
  Tom-e | Jan 17, 2021 |
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

The description of Persephone Station intrigued me from the start. I enjoyed both television shows listed as comparable, while the line between space opera and military science fiction is a favorite of mine. It’s strange how something that falls tightly into so many tropes can be of them and something else entirely. In this case, though, the odd fit is just about perfect.

The story blends sociological science fiction and engaging combat scenes where strategies succeed or fail based on how well the defenders guess the planned attacks. It’s feminist in a focus on consent and choice. There are non-binary characters, gay couples, and a broader spectrum of possibilities than found in tradition space opera.

I think Rosie, one of the many leading characters, sums up an underlying theme well. They point out how humans are the aliens on this planet rather than those who were there before human colonization, the word itself incorrect. The Emissaries have a problematic history even before humans set down roots. I found them fascinating both in their past and how they accommodate humans so they can remain hidden.

The description, both in content and skill, enthralled me. At points, I laughed aloud while others brought me to tears. This is neither a romp nor a tragedy, but has elements of both. Life is complicated, and the right choices don’t necessarily mean health, happiness, or even survival. It’s how you stay true to yourself that matters. At least, that’s how I read the various choices made by those I sided with.

The narrative is twisted enough for me to experience momentary doubts about some of the other characters. Angel and her team are my main characters (there are enough to choose from), and so they set the bar for the rest. I didn’t always see the bigger picture, in part because of this choice, but I always had an opinion as to how I wanted things to go. The narrative is complex enough I had concerns about the rest of those I considered good guys, making for a few tense moments, or maybe more than a few.

I read my notes once I finished, and my engagement is clear. I’m hoping the characters are playing a deep game rather than betraying my favorites. Then I am enjoying a complex conversation full of double-speak, even though I don’t trust one character as far as I can throw her. The story unfolds in the unspoken as much as the events we see. This makes it a little harder to read sometimes, but also more interesting.

The book starts at a run with a powerful scene that grounds us in the bigger situation, introduces the aliens, and gives us a villain if not the full details. It’s funny to say that because such an introduction would seem to eliminate the possibility of a complex narrative. And yet, there’s much more going on, and the reasons behind what we learn aren’t exactly what they appear to be.

I’m talking around the book because even the smallest reveal offers too much detail outside of context. What I can tell you is the characters are full fleshed. You will care about them and their concerns. The story has both philosophical passages, and detailed action scenes with neat tech and team bonding. It is a fun read on many levels.

The world is a fascinating mix between the Wild West and an almost religious philosophy. The people are equally complex, coming into this moment with histories, secrets, and connections that offer strength and weakness both. I was thoroughly engaged to the point that my notes start listing things I enjoyed and then taper off into nothing as I couldn’t step back enough to comment.

This isn’t a book for everyone. I had a little trouble following Rosie’s point of view at first because of their choice of pronouns, and the feminist philosophies are very dominant at times. The human cast is almost all female as well, which might throw some readers. If, however, you embrace the book’s reality, Persephone Station offers an energetic, fast-paced story that asks you to examine your own beliefs about personhood and limits. You’re asked to choose a side in a conflict where emotions run deep and the risks are real.

P.S. I received this Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review. ( )
  MarFisk | Jan 14, 2021 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Stina Leichtautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Manuka, TomerArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Marchese, MichelleDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Van Deun, Emma A.Designer da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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