The Colony by RM Gilmour - feath

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Book Review

The Colony
by RM Gilmour

3 star

Listed as a sci-fi romance, and it is that.
At the start, it is the most striking literal example of 'talking heads' I have ever seen. It was annoying and went on too long. Three or four chapters. The dreaded 'when does the story start', thought crossed my mind. Then she moved from earth to the colony. Ah! I thought. Here we go. But no.
One of the things that really attracted me was Lydia was scared. Figuratively and literally. It's so refreshing to have a non-perfect, beautiful princess in a romance, I held high hopes for it. But once she got to the colony, scars were normal, no one noticed and she very quickly stopped thinking of it, and it stopped impacting her personality or actions. She became the beautiful princess at the flip of a page, and it made me a bit sad.
It was around 1/4th the way through, I realized it was a milieu story. Milieu doesn't sell books though, which is a shame, because Gilmour created one of the most beautiful places I've seen. If you like stories where the environment is just as important as the characters and plot, this story is for you. It was her breathtaking colony and society that got her the three stars.
And while we explored this colony, we did everything from pulling weeds to learning how to fight. Pages and pages of it. Again, the 'when does it start?' thought hit me. Because all through this, all the way to 1/2 way through the book, the most challenging conflict was running and having a suit teach her how to fight. Even the dialogue was soothing, don't upset Lydia! My eyes started to glaze, but I kept at it. I wanted the review to be as fair as I could get it. At the 1/2 mark, a sudden peak of conflict happened. It built a bit, slowed down, built a bit... As far as I'm concerned, the story started 1/2 way through the book.
Of the characters, I liked Lena the best. A strong, complex character, who took control. Lydia followed whoever pulled her. The other characters were mid-range. Except for a couple of the 'players' you never really saw enough of the others to determine who had some depth. It continued to be a milieu story.
Once we got up to speed on some action, Lydia gets hurt, and the story dives into the romance part of the book. It had always BEEN a romance, but for the first half of the book, they barely set eyes on each other. I'm afraid it was at this point I gave it up.
It was at 3/4s of the way through the book and I realized I was forcing myself to read it. The plot had started to get interesting, the action more vigorous than counting trees and sitting at the river side. I really wanted to read it. But it was just too far into the book and the back hooks weren't there to keep me reading.

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