Edmond Hamilton meets E.E. "Doc" Smith in the 21st century, but in a bad way.
Do you all remember Smith's book about an evil planet of evil naked lesbians who only needed the love of a few good men to become nice ladies? This is almost as bad.
This novel should have been called "Firefly - the book". Holden is Malcolm Reynolds minus the charm and backstory. The crew also has a strong resemblance to the crew of the Firefly:
1 - Amos, a big, dumb weapons guy who talks a lot = Jayne (from Firefly);
2 - Alex, a likable, easy breezy pilot = Wash (from Firefly).
Another big no-no is related with the threat in the novel. In the first part, all the threats are quite well designed. In the second part of the book, the threats are just pushed away. The all-winning enemy with their army of stealth ships that launch waves of nukes and take out Martian battleships all of a sudden changes, becoming little more than a plot device. Lack of ideas?
And don't get me started on the coincidences that populate the book.
After almost 600 pages it seemed like that it'd been written by someone with absolutely no knowledge of the history of SF.
I was bored out of my mind. I couldn’t get into the characters, the plot seemed to drag, and I also found it to be badly written. I just had to finish it to see how the all thing would end.
Redeeming factor: the title.