space opera

Space Opera

by Catherynne M. Valente

Saga Press, 2018

Adult Science Fiction

8 out of 11 cups of tea

Summary: Humanity must prove they are worthy of existence to the rest of the universe by participating in a singing contest. Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeros will represent Earth and hopefully they’ll win.

Likes: The prose is fantastic!

An example from page 25:

“They wept like the cave men of Lascaux suddenly transported into the Sistine Chapel just in time for a live performance of Phantom of the Opera as sung by Tolkien’s elves. Their senses simply were not built for this, weren’t meant to come anywhere near this kind of velvet-barreled sensory shotgun, loaded for bear.”

Valente’s metaphors are ridiculous but so well constructed. Her imagination is boundless. And full of references to other things.

Dislikes: It did take me a few chapters to get used to Valente’s writing (this has been fairly normal for me with her other work). At first I had to reread passages multiple times to comprehend what was happening.

Overall this book is reminiscent of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a lot of humor, satire, and bizarre imagination. (I definitely recommend The Hitchhiker’s Guide too if you haven’t read it.) Space Opera is predominantly a feel-good sci-fi and the strongest element is the prose itself.

Content: I’d say medium for everything because no subject is off-limits in her prose or to the characters she has created.

One thought on “Review: Space Opera

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