Just One More Chapter

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. 

-Vera Nazarian

 

I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time. 

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The City Among The Stars by Francis Carsac

Ok, right off the bat I'd like to confess my ardent love for the Sci-Fi genre. I adore it to itsy teenie tiny pieces and now, couple that with a Space Opera backdrop and BAM... a recipe for hours of blissful escapism and endless possibilities. The premise of The City Among The Stars had me imagining myself fully engaged and immersed in geeky Sci-Fi/Space faring heaven... my shangri-la, my haven away from the craziness of Real Life. And so, armed only with an intriguing premise, I anxiously dove into this book untethered.


First off, there are two important factors to mention. 1) this book was published in the '60s and 2) it is a translated work. Early on, both of these facts were painfully obvious. I took the age and the fact that things can easily get lost in translation into consideration while reading and later on when deciding how to rate the book. With these provisos in the back of my mind I read and read and after reading for quite a long time I am sad to report that this great expectation fell flat on it's overreaching butt.


The wording felt disjointed and clunky... more so than with other translated works. I am a girl who loves her character driven novels. I'll also gladly take a book centered around rich, diverse world building with character development coming in a close second BUT The City Among The Stars was neither of those. The characters were criminally flat and weren't even likeable. The MC was a tool, a creaton, a POS who loved to yell and lash out at women and THAT made me cringe.

 

The female representation was appalling! Women were portrayed as property... pretty, shiny arm candy and it definitely chaffed... nay, it wrankled! I (a self proclaimed shiny mess of a female) for one, couldn't get past the flagrant injustice. Women were meant to be draped over the arm of some man and our main purpose was for "pleasure or breeding". I feel nauseated just thinking about the blatant sexism... yes, this might be a reflection of how far the notions of gender equality have come in the last 60 years BUT if you're going to translate the author's blood, sweat, tears and dreams made tangible then don't just go to Google Translate, toss it in and regurgitate whatever shows up on the screen. The translator should be both fluent and finely attuned to the nuances of both languages!

 

So, I'm thinking that I am probably not the targeted demographic here so I'll cut it some slack.

 

Overall:
I gave this book more chances than I should have. I would pick it up only to put it right back down again. Over and over... rinse and repeat. I wanted to like it, I truly did, but The City Among The Stars made it hard to love... or even like. I appreciate the chance to review the ARC ahead of the release date though! Unfortunately, the bottom line is that it wasn't for me and I wouldn't reccomend it to others.

*** I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***