Daisy’s Run by Scott Baron
Part One of The Clockwork Chimera series
Amazon | Goodreads
Published by Curiouser
Release Date: November 15, 2018
Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Obtained through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
What It Is
Daisy’s Run is the first in a five-part science fiction series focused on artificial intelligence, cyborgs, spaceships, and what it means to be human.
After an accident in space, the crew of a massive spaceship, the Vali, is woken from their cryo-sleep in order to repair the ship. One of these characters is Daisy, one of the two technicians/engineers on the ship. She and Sarah work together to try to repair a ship that seems to be constantly malfunctioning, until one day a tragic event occurs and Sarah is jettisoned into space.
Daisy is wary of the artificial intelligence all around her, including the cybernetic implants that almost all of the crew have. The ship is full of other futuristic technology, such as neuro-stims, which allow the crew to learn new information as they sleep by plugging a cord into the back of their heads.
As time goes on, Daisy starts to realize that the ship and everyone on it may not be what they seem, and she goes on a mission to uncover the truth.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. As readers of this blog probably already know, science fiction is my favorite genre, and I’m always searching for new books and series to get into.
From the very first page, I found myself getting very strong Star Trek vibes, which is exciting since Star Trek is the most important thing in the world (yes, I am a Trekkie). A cyborg/android that appears human; Gustavo, a character that has artificial eyes that allow him to see in multiple spectrums; a responsive, personable ship’s computer; food replicators – all things that make me think of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Scott Baron does a great job with setting and landscape. While following the characters on the ship, I could easily picture everything in my head. When the story moves down to Los Angeles, I really enjoyed the imagery of an empty city.
I did not like Daisy’s character, although I do think Scott Baron did a fine job of writing her. I simply did not enjoy her personality: I found her to be irrational, rash, and prejudiced. Her main reason for not liking cyborgs and being judgemental of her cybernetically-enhanced crewmates appears to be that they creep her out, which gave me absolutely no sympathy for her. She also has a tendency to be patronizing, which is most apparent when she’s speaking to Alfred Chu.
The main problem I had with Daisy is that her unwillingness to listen to her crewmates was so incredibly frustrating. There were times throughout the book where I wished I could reach into the story, grab her by the shoulders, and shake her until she agreed to listen to what they had to say.
When Daisy reaches Los Angeles, she encounters a completely new type of threat, which I won’t mention due to spoilers, but ultimately I believe it is a threat that would cause most people to re-evaluate their objectives, but not Daisy. She seems to be so focused on her original, somewhat irritating, goals, that she seems to just ignore the new threat entirely.
My not liking Daisy actually led to my enjoying the book more. It is very difficult for a writer to write a compelling character, and even more difficult to write a compelling, unlikeable character into a novel, and still have the novel itself be enjoyable. It was refreshing to read a book where I wasn’t rooting for the main character, but couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
The main reason I could not give this book five stars is due to two main points: The novel never addresses whether Sarah’s death was an accident or not. It’s a major plot hole that I’m surprised was never addressed. Also, I was really disappointed in the ending of the book. I read a lot of book series, and the best ones offer novels that can stand on their own even if you don’t read the whole series. Each book is a complete story. I cannot say that about Daisy’s Run: the book ends more like a television show, in the middle of an incident. There’s no closure at the end of this book, and while I will probably read the next four books at some point, I did not enjoy the story ending in the middle of a cliffhanger.
Another quick note is that all five of these books are being released on the same day. I’m not sure why that is being done, and I personally do not believe it is a good choice. One of the exciting things about book series is the anticipation between book releases. Think of a book series you read as they were being released. For me, that’s Harry Potter. When I finished each book, I was so anxious to get my hands on the next one. I spent so much time between book releases dreaming of what could happen next, and it was well worth the wait when I could finally go to the bookstore to get the next one. I feel like releasing an entire series at the same time robs the readers of that excitement.
I struggled to choose a rating for this novel. I kept wavering between 3-4.5 stars. I’m still not really sure, but I’m settling on 4 out of 5 stars. The main issue I had with this book was the way it ended, but the rest of it I really enjoyed. Scott Baron is a talented writer, and I look forward to reading the next book in this series.