Current read: _The Kugler Dynasty_ by Studio Dongo

This is the intro to a science fiction series about life afloat in pyramidal, functionally unsinkable cities. I liked it better than I’d imagined I might.

The author, whose real name is rather more conventional than ‘Studio Dongo,’ is known for a dry and slightly serrated sense of humor. Thus, I spent a lot of the story in one of those moments: “Okay, I think there is some deliberate gonzo comedy sprinkled here, but I’m hesitant to come out and call it that, because it might just be something else that I’m not a clever enough reader to pick up, so I’d better not pop off.” The diverse subplots dovetail well, and in a far less formulaic way than your typically predictable Dean Koontz endcap thriller (that you’d swear was outlined like a basketball tournament bracket).

About halfway through, the tale started to pick up for me. By three-quarters, I was excited to see where it would go. Other than the expected dovetailing (without which we’d be opening a can of ‘huh?’), I was left in enough doubt of what-happens-next to hold my interest. I like it a lot when books do that, and it’s not as common as one might wish. By the end, I was considering ordering the next book just because such good groundwork (open sea?) was laid for a lot of potentially interesting and exciting story possibilities.

I’d call it a four-star book that would rate a fifth star except for some portions with too much tell rather than show. That’s my own personal bugaboo: the first time I see “She felt…”, I’m now hyper-alert for such things for the duration of the read. It says a lot for the story that I liked it well overall, in spite of this aspect pushing one of my buttons.

Available in hardcopy at the link at top, or in e-version.

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