I know, I know, this was on my list for the 2011 E-Reader Challenge, but it's close enough to 2011 for it to count, right?
Now, as a disclaimer, I do not like to dog people's work because at least they wrote a book and got it published, which is more than I've done. Marveling at the brilliance that is Kurt Vonnegut, I shall quote him here, "Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae."
However, I don't think it's fair if I only post reviews of books that are, in my opinion, spectacular. With that said, I didn't like Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon. By the last few chapters, it was a monumental struggle to get it finished, which is probably not a good sign.
It had an interesting premise, the plot was decent, there was some very good alien creature and world building going on, but I simply could not relate to the characters. I realize there will be many who counter that statement with, "It's SCI-FI, for pete's sake. In SCI-FI, characterization is secondary (or tertiary, or even further down the list of priorities) to the SCIENCE portion of the story."
Yeah, well, I think you can have both. And I want my sci-fi world to have both, because you invited me to visit this planet with your intriguing back cover or inside flap teaser, damn you, and now that I'm here I want... no, I DEMAND, both.
Bright of the Sky didn't have both. There was a lot of telling the reader how the characters felt (particularly toward each other), but not a lot of showing. In life and in literature, actions speak louder than words. As I was reading, I often found myself wondering, "What?? Where did that come from?" Having not seen the emotion between characters develop over time it would come as a suprise when BOOM!, all of a sudden we have significant feeling between them. The characters seemed not just reserved, but robotic.
Frankly, I started out liking the main character, but by the end I thought he was an asshat. Maybe he redeems himself in later books, but I don't know that I want to spend the time finding out.