[Review] DEFENDERS by Will McIntosh

Thursday, July 24, 2014 K.Z. Freeman 0 Comments

There are books which I have reviewed so far for which I "argue" that nothing happens. I wish to explain again as I did in those reviews, that things do in fact happen, but are not even remotely close to what I would like to happen in a book that is over 400 pages long. I don't want to read about someone going to a university and doing exams at said university. (I still ended up reading about it, but shut up, okay?)

In this book, things happen. And then some other things happen which are not expected. Then others which are slightly more expected, but still very spacious (?) in the oh shit that just happened department.

[Here ends the part of the review where I try to use the word happen as many times as possible for no particular reason.]

This is without doubt an existentially rich book examining some of the most profoundly disturbing yet singularly realistic questions. The questions aren't actually in the book, which is how good scifi does things anyway, instead the questions appear by themselves in the heads of those who tend to contemplate the nature of things and stuff. The answers you get in this book are sort of nihilistic in a way and kind of lame when you think about them. Yet not lame because the author is lame or managed to represent the answers in a lame way (although the Lutyen are some of the most meh aliens purely by aspect of countenance), but because, well, the answers themselves are quite lame. But also true.

One answer is simply this: Humans are and will for the foreseeable future remain a bunch of unremitting idiots.

The second answer a bit comforting. Only not very. And it is that we can't really help it. Unless we try really really hard.

You cannot help but be pissed at times at the pure idiocrity of the people in this book. And by extension - when you realize the book is pretty legit when it comes to accurately describing real-world situations (albeit in a warped and situationaly different manner) - you kind of become frustrated with humans in general. But then again, you should be a tad frustrated with us if you managed to look outside your window in the last couple of centuries, or within yourself. I mean really look

If you pause to think (and you should, god dammit) that what is happening in this book is something that may very well occur, and actually has already numerous times - just not with aliens from outer space (or has it) - you may come to the startling conclusions you were already aware of, but tried not to consider because they can bring you to fucking tears. 

"Suppress that shit," seems to be the consensus upon which we frivolously operate in our current global society.

But what if you can't? Well I suppose then you damn well try harder.

The science in this book is never actually explained and the book itself remains one of the least detailed books I have read in a while. The details are in other places, centered around characters and things that actually matter.

Which is good.

The only problem was I couldn't for the life of me imagine a starfish-shaped alien that didn't appear positively goofy in my mind's eye... And I tried.


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