Reviewed by Kathryn A on 22nd May 2004 (2)
It wasn't until I'd gotten to the third page of this that I realized that I'd read this before and hadn't liked it. It's not that it's badly written, it's not that it didn't have good ideas -- I did like the alien "Sad Eyes" and the whole setup at the start really did draw one in. The problem was that the plot basically consisted of Our Heroes getting captured, followed by a lot of torture, followed by a fight in which the alien saves the day... they might as well not have been there at all, except, I suppose, as a catalyst to mitigate the apathetic despair of the oppressed inhabitants. But it was the torture that got me. Just... lots of it, and meaningless, because, hey, torture is what insane gou'ald do because they're bored, didn't you know? (sigh)
I gather that this author has a very good rep, but I think you have to be a hurt/comfort junkie to like this style. The main reason I'm mentioning this story at all is so that I don't make the mistake of reading it again, a third time.