Plot: The third in Ryan Rodriguez’s Earth’s Last Ships trilogy, The Minotaur has a ragtag crew of refugees from the blue planet arriving on Lincrest where, to the current inhabitants, they are alien invaders. The plan is to colonize the planet and destroy the indigenous population, whatever or whoever they might be. But they turn out to be almost human… factions of squabbling dwarf-like beings to whom Ott makes protestations of friendship and toward whom he feels a sense of moral superiority.
Prose: The prose is highly descriptive and engaging, though there are moments when the action slows due to unnecessarily complex and wordy passages.
Originality: The trope of technologically superior beings attacking less technologically sophisticated cultures and exploiting their natural resources, is well-known in fiction. Regardless, Rodriguez is skilled at worldbuilding, with vivid descriptions of various kinds of technology, including a plethora of weaponry, that might exist in a futuristic interplanetary realm. The illustrations by Everette Brown, Gabriel De Leon, and Joshua Morley-Smith are expertly executed and an unusual and helpful feature in a book for this audience.
Character/Execution: The novel focuses heavily on describing an alien world; the characters in that world have few distinctions other than those that embody the nature of their species. However, several fantastic beasts such as madocs, zobas, monstrous wolves, and beings that the original population call Gods, add interest.
Date Submitted: August 25, 2021