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Book Review: Pallas Lost

Table of Contents

“When Ensign Vasyli Nikonov’s ship happened upon a drifting derelict, he had no idea how drastically his life was about to change. Not only had the crew been killed in an impossible manner, the Captain of the ship left a reference to the child’s tale of the lost colony of Pallas.

Elsewhere in the Fifteen Systems, scholar Eliot Charter gamely starts his own fool’s quest to prove that Pallas is real. Armed with nothing but naivety and knowledge, he hires mercenary Captain Skadi Ulfsdöttir to help him on his journey.

Things quickly spiral out of hand, leaving them all wondering if Pallas was truly Lost…”

Title: Pallas Lost

Series: Standalone

Author: Jake Morrison

Page Count: 271

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: November 10th, 2023

Pallas Lost by Jake Morrison was my third full read for the SPSFC-3 competition. I read the first 20% of this one during our slush period where we were introduced to all of the books assigned to our group. The style and flow were solid for me in that period even if I did seem a bit lost as we jumped around with each of our new characters. There was some decent hype building for this one though so I wanted to get back to it soon and continue on. As always with competition reads, please keep in mind my public reviews are entirely my own feelings (scores) toward these books and may not necessarily reflect our entire team overall.
 
It didn’t take long after I picked this one back up before story and our characters started coming together. Once that happened, this one became a really enjoyable read for the most part.
 
The pacing really worked for me. As I mentioned the flow of Jake’s style was very smooth and easy for me to read from the start. I don’t think it’s that abnormal to take some time at the beginning of a book, let alone book one of a series, to introduce the world and its characters. I didn’t have any issues with names the author used throughout this story either. There are several moments throughout the book that one of our characters almost talks to herself out loud in her native language which I didn’t have a clue what she was saying but I get the gist of her emotions in those scenes at least.
 
The worldbuilding was very interesting. I really liked the mystery of the over all story as we continuously learn more and more about the world the author is piecing together. I felt he did a good job in getting me to feel more like I was watching a film in my mind rather than simply reading words on a page. We had a good mix of events happening planet side as well as off planet.
 
The character development was strong even if I had trouble either connecting to or simply understanding some of them. The reason I say this is that some characters seem to change very early in the story compared to how they were introduced. On the flip side, I felt that there wasn’t much of an arc of change for Skadi at all. She just seemed the same from the beginning to the end really. The fact there are several characters that we learn about in this read helped this category overall for me.
 
I’m still very interested in seeing where this series goes from here as we were left with a bit of a cliffhanger in book one here.
 
Overall, this was an entertaining science fiction mystery to follow along as the story unfolds. If you like your science fiction to include some rather contrasting characters working together to survive and uncover mysteries, this should be a good one for you!

World Building 4/5
Pacing 4/5
Character Development 4/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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3 Comments

  1. I had fun with how the found family aspect of this one builds as the book goes on, and I hope that continues in the rest of the series. I agree, though, that Skadi didn’t change much in the course of this book… hopefully there’s more of a change arc planned for her in the future.

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