Limit - Frank Schätzing

**** Immense, but excessive work

First of all I must say that I love long science fiction novels. I love them because they have complex plots and do not end immediately. And, if a novel is beautiful, you do not want it to end. For this reason I faced fearlessly the 1300 pages of “Limit”. I came out with conflicting opinions.
I awarded it with four stars because in the end the author really made it. The final part (say the last third of the book) is in fact the most successful and overall I have to say that I had fun. But I could not go further because, with all my good will, the book has more than a few flaws.
First of all, the author employs perhaps a hundred pages at the beginning to present all the characters. It goes without saying that it creates a great confusion in your head, as you do not have the time to assimilate the information. There is a list of all the characters at the end of the book, but it does not seem right to me that the reader should consult it every time. It would have been more appropriate to introduce them slowly in the unfolding of the story, so as not to kill the interest and the pace at the beginning.
Another aspect that puzzled me is the passing of the author from an omniscient point of view (which also sees what the characters cannot see) to a limited point of view, even within the same scene. More than once I had to re-read a paragraph from the beginning to figure out who was thinking about what was being written. In short, I found it a bit confusing. As the story continues, however, the problem is reduced since the author tends to assign scenes to the individual character and avoid showing what nobody could see.
In all this, however, I tend to find a certain inconsistency.
But by far the biggest problem with this book is the excess of info-dump. At least one third of the novel consists of information that could be summarized or simply omitted. Pages and pages of unlikely political fiction or background of the characters, which the reader forgets a second after reading them, unless they skip or read them diagonally. Not to mention the fact that the inclusion of these absolutely fake parts completely arrests the action even for fifty pages, creating unnatural pauses in the scenes. The characters find themselves doing long and complicated conversations, therefore improbable, that look like real lessons and certainly not normal chatting. Honestly, I could not imagine that certain characters could stay so long concentrated to talk about stuff like that.
In short, boredom.
Finally the finish is predictable. Once you kill almost everybody and slow down the action, you give the reader all the tools to understand who the leader of the bad guys is, well before the revelation. On the other hand a reader who engages in a novel of 1300 pages is sly, therefore to greater reason they feel undervalued if you propose them such an obvious ending.
After all these criticisms you may wonder why such a high rating. Simple. The parts on the Moon and space are stunning. The action scenes are well orchestrated and exciting. The setting is the most impressive I have read in recent times. But most of all I loved the character of Julian Orley, crazy, visionary and optimistic, as well as his daughter Lynn (mad as a hatter) and son Tim (loving and practical), and the latter’s wife Amber (the one who understands them all). They are very well built and you can really feel in tune with them.
Instead, I have appreciated less Owen Jericho, who measured with much less fascinating places and situations, but he sometimes failed to keep up with the majesty of the plot. He is a character with many weaknesses, who would have demanded a higher real depth and perhaps a real growth at the end of the story. The author has tried to develop him and to tell (but do not to show) his growth, but in my opinion he didn’t succeed. Yoyo, instead, is annoying and unnecessary.
Finally, a mention to the villains. I was annoyed that the survived one was also, so to speak, devoid of soul, stereotyped, in short the supervillain, while another more interesting villain was killed in a rather stupid way. I liked him because he basically acted according to his own logic, showing to have a consciousness. The killing of such a character was really a pity. 

Limit on (release date: 5 November 2013).

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