Saturday, May 13, 2017

Killing Gravity, by Corey J. White

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(Space Opera; Voidwitch) She calls herself Mars. She’s running from the authorities, who want to use her powerful telekinetic powers. Powers that leave scores of dead in her wake. (32,315 words; Time: 1h:47m)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ Needs Improvement

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Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

This is a Mary Sue story. The author has made Mars so powerful and given her such easy successes that suspension of disbelief is impossible.

Every problem Mars encounters, she solves in short order, usually using her extravagant powers. Nothing slows her down for long, so the story has zero tension, and the fight scenes are just long and tedious.

The science is terrible. Mars drags a black hole through a wormhole? And pulls asteroids in to destroy warships? Earlier, she was tired out after merely tossing a few human beings around.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. While I spotted the same issue as you, with her powers seeming to vary to match the situation, I thought it was more a lack of rigour rather than full blown Mary Sue-ness.
    There are good points too - it kept up a good pace, interesting locales - so for me 1 star is a bit harsh.

    1. I have a hard rule that Mary-Sue stories get 1 star no matter what other merits they might have. One star is supposed to mean "this should never have been published," after all.

      The counter argument is that, using Django Wexler's definition, a Mary-Sue story is one where the narrator's favoritism for a character breaks suspension of disbelief, and, for RSR, belief busters can still get 2 stars; 1-star is really for elementary writing errors.

      Of course that begs the question. :-) But I think one can make a good case that her powers are so extravagant and her opposition is so pathetic in comparison that she's at least nine-tenths a Mary Sue. What pushed me over the edge was when she had to fight a team of other psionics who'd trained where she did, but she was so totally awesome that she trashed them in just a couple of paragraphs.