The Negative’s Tale by R. Leib

Summary

On a space station in Earth orbit, something terrible has happened to Bertie Lindermann.

Under normal circumstances, the investigation would be a job for station security, but circumstances are anything but normal.

Allon Wu might be the last person you would entrust with unraveling a high profile mystery, but there is no one else.

With deceit the order of the day, who is not a suspect? Is this an isolated incident or the precursor of a storm that could throw Kostya station into chaos? When will it be too late? Who can he trust? Can he prevent this crisis from spinning out of control? This is his best chance to regain Lovey’s trust, and Allon is determined not to let her down again.

Allon Wu is the Negative.

Characters

An awesome assortment of characters flew through this book. From Professor Billgore to Ulanovich. All of which circled around the main character – Allon Wu. All of them had a role to play and all of them were very believable and interesting. Except for Allon Wu himself…of all the characters I actually found him the most bland at times. It wasn’t until the story about his brother-in-law that I really felt that I saw Allon Wu. He was likable enough and, unfortunately, forgettable as well. The supporting characters gave him life and the story life more than the main character.

Plot

Absolutely fascinating world and concept. The concept behind Allon Wu’s powers and those of the world were imaginative. There are really three stories happening throughout this book. The first is Allon Wu as a child. Enjoyable – a little drawn out – but it had its moments. Then there was the main story line of Bert Linderman. I figured out this mystery from the get go – all it was subtly hinted but painfully obvious at the same time. I did not enjoy this part of the story very much. The last was the story of Allon Wu going after Ulanovich and this was the absolute best part – mingled in with the story of how Allon met his wife.

That part of the story was dark and gripping. I love the world the author created for this part and their writing potential really shown through. Absolutely loved and could see the planet of the crabs. Fantastically written. I actually was getting bored with the book – few flashbacks to a younger Allon and the mystery portion had gone stale for me. This third component of the story was far more fascinating and difficult to pin down what would happen.

Overall

Enjoyable read if not too wordy at times and a little obvious. My biggest issue was the chapters didn’t indicate shifting of gears. A few times I didn’t realize we were going forward or backwards in time. That we were still in one time or another. It was like being a ping pong ball – bouncing back and forth with no sense of direction at times. The three stories went together well in a way, but they were not equally enjoyable. I imagine other people would enjoy Allon Wu as a child and others the mystery in ‘present’ time. Some might even like all three. For me it was the Ulanovich story.

Regardless this is a sci-fi novel through and through. The author did their homework and made every part of the adventure feel believable. The array of characters were varied and interesting. Overall it has lots of potential and I can see the author improving with time.

Rating

3.5 stars (rounded down to 3)

I thought this book way okay over all. The 0.5 extra over the 3 stars is for the Ulanovich story. If the author fixes the problem with the timeline and tightens up the wordiness, this would be a solid 4 stars. I’d recommend it for those who like lots of details and science fiction novels.

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