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Title: Pandora Paradox
Series: Omega Force #12
Author: Joshua Dalzelle
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
From the Publisher
It started with a revolution nobody had even realized occurred…
Its cruelty sparked a rebellion that everyone refused to admit existed…
Now, the Machine—a terrifying and relentless enemy—reigns supreme in the galaxy, and the real fight is just beginning.
Omega Force keenly feels the weight of responsibility for the Machine’s arrival in the quadrant, but even with the resources of the Blazing Sun organized crime syndicate backing them, there’s only so much the small mercenary crew can do against the malevolent AI that has already usurped control of most of the government.
With the Machine now firmly in control of the ConFed’s military, they are out of time and out of options. Captain Jason Burke knows that along with the Machine, something else came back from the outer regions… something he’s kept a secret from everybody, even his own crew. He knows that he likely has the power to stop the Machine in its tracks, but it means unleashing an equally uncontrollable force. As he struggles to know what the right thing to do is, he can’t help but fear that the cure could very well be worse than the disease.
I haven’t got much to say. This book was mediocre and has made me realize that Dalzelle and I need to part ways. Not because of any big issues but simply because I don’t feel his skills as a writer are good enough to keep on giving him chance after chance. I started reading him back in ’15 with Warship, the start of his Black Fleet trilogy. It was pretty good and I enjoyed the whole thing. Sadly, the sequels ended up relying on the main character from the first trilogy because they were lifeless.
What does that have to do with his Omega Force series? Well, I started that in ’16 with Omega Rising and here we are 12 books and almost 6 years later and his skill level still appears to be the same to me. I don’t mind if an author starts off rough. Go read Elantris or Mistborn by Sanderson or Monster Hunter International by Correia to see how some authors started out. Starting out as an author is rough work and with reviewers like me it’s even harder. But I expect improvement as an author continues their craft. If they have peaked at their first book or three and then plateau, that is not good enough for me. If you read 10-12 books a year then Dalzelle might just fit your needs. Just like any old pair of black cargo pants are going to work for me when I go to work. I don’t expect them to make me look like a buff sex god, I just want them to protect my legs from briars and thorns and to hold my phone and stuff. But I expect something VERY different if I put on my suit. I have reached the stage in my life when good enough is only good enough for a few books, not long term.
Therefore this is the last Dalzelle book I’ll be reading. I hope I can remember this when he puts out another book or series and I’m tempted to “give him another chance”. No more chances, this stuff is just not good enough anymore.