My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Watching superhero movies I always wondered what was happening to the side characters. What were they doing while the hero kicked the bad guy’s ass? I wanted to watch additional scenes featuring the sidekick or the underdog. In Citadel I got exactly that. We have characters like Dana, the engineer who became a pilot in spite of being shot at by aliens (or maybe because she was shot at). There is Butch the welder, who’s main activities were cutting up junks that were alien ships before and trying to survive the enemy fire. And there is the female military officer, who prefers to have sex with men only after beating them up to release the stress.
The story started kinda slow, I was bored sometimes in the beginning, but it got better later on.
A while ago I have read on a writer’s blog that you shouldn’t start scenes with dialogue, because it confuses the reader. I agreed at that time, but now I see differently It can work pretty well. Ringo started almost all scenes with dialogue. It created a micro suspense, because I was guessing who was talking, where were they and what were they doing. And Ringo did the dialogues quite well, every character sounded natural.
The “Americans are awesome” attitude irritated me a little bit, especially the figure of Tyler Vernon (appearing only sparingly), who was all-knowing, perfectly aware of what the humanity needed to beat the enemies. (Can someone who read the first book remind me where did he come from? I think he was having several part-time jobs as wood-cutter and book seller, trying to make a living. How comes he became the smartest man in the solar system?)
The story wouldn’t be that original, we have read countless space battles and laser guns, but Ringo could put a nice spin in it having Troy as the gigantic battle-station and creating the geez-look-how-man-petawatts lasers.
I don’t think I could take Ringo seriously, he had put a load of funny writing in the book, but that’s fine, because sometimes I prefer the light reading.