Book Review: Choose Omnibus by Tami Moore


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Full discloser: I personally know both the author and editor of Choose Omnibus and count them among my friends. I paid full retail for the book and have received no compensation in any form from either the author or editor for my comments here.

 

Choose began as a webserial. I was not part of the site where it was hosted, and my first exposure to it was the Omnibus edition where all three Choose volumes are collected in one place. I read it like it was one large book.

Choose features an ensemble cast and each character is vividly described. In the early parts of the trilogy, some of the characters seem to be almost homages to other more famous characters. One character reminded me of Han Solo, while another reminded me of Data. The book follows the exploits of Remora Wingates Price and you can almost see the Leia inspired buns in her hair. Remora doesn’t actually have buns, but her attitude is straight Princess of Alderaan. But as the series continues, you see the characters become more and more complex with McCoy reaching almost Jack Sparrow levels of complexity by the end.

The story shifts perspective from character to character with almost every chapter. The reader never feels lost, and you really get to know each character from their own point of view. This sets up a set of satisfying and well-constructed set of climaxes before the major climax of the series.

In addition to the characters, the world building is a strength of Chose. This is a deep and wonderfully detailed world. Fans of Steampunk will feel right at home. You can tell Moore loves Steampunk and her passion comes out on every page. Moore never bores you with long histories or pages of exposition. All the backstory and world building is artfully crafted into each scene. The worlds of Choose breathe with an ambiance and atmosphere all their own. The Shonfra race was a favorite of mine. I want a Shonfra companion (with translator, natch!)

There are parts where the webserial origin still shows, and the characters tend to go off on tangents. Moore rides the line of whimsy too far in some cases. What may have been conceits for the readers of the website get lost on someone coming to Choose as a novel.

The part that bothered me the most was Moore’s choice of villain. I love the way she builds her villain up as a character, but there are aspects of her villians that left me very uncomfortable. This is more a personal quibble than a critism.

Overall, Choose was a tremendously fun read. The series ends with such a beautiful open ended conclusion. There is a rich story still to be told her. My biggest regret is that the author has stated there are no plans to revisit the world in the near future.

Choose receives my full recommendation. Read it, and love it.