I did consider reading this oulipo-style experiment in anti-writing. It's very promising: viz., a title that can only make the reader think of a Spinal Tap song, and (double viz) some terrible, terrible prose:
PrologueYes, indeed, the Galactic Empire is named after the slang term for testicles; yes, the authors do write in a random, jotting-shit-down-as-it-occurs-to-them manner; yes they positively revel in both cliché and mixed metaphors ('riding a groundswell of popular support' ... like, uh, some kind of surfer, I guess); yes that third paragraph there, the one beginning 'The General’s teeth ached...', may be the worst piece of writing I've read all year. So I did consider reading this one. But then I decided against it. Standing there in my local bookshop, I read the first page, closed the cover and put it back on the shelf.
It was the end of the rebellion, and this day would either make or break the freedom fighters. General Tiber Maximilian Adolphus had struggled for half a decade against the corrupt government of the Constellation, taking his cause across the twenty central Crown Jewel worlds and riding a groundswell of popular support—all of which had led him to here. A last stand where the old regime was bound to collapse.
The battle over the planet Sonjeera would decide it all.
The General’s teeth ached from clenching his jaws, but he stood on the bridge of his flagship, ostensibly calm, confident. He had not intended to be a rebel leader, but the role had been forced on him, and he’d never lost sight of the goal. The ancient, incestuous system had oppressed many populations. The more powerful noble families devoured the weaker ones to steal their planetary holdings. Ultimately, even those powerful families split up and tore at one another, as if it were some kind of game. It had gone on far too long.
For five years now, the General’s ever-growing forces battled oldguard loyalists, winning victories and suffering defeats. Any reasonable person could see that the bloated system was rotten, crumbling, unfair to the majority. People across the Crown Jewels had only needed a man to serve as an example, someone to light the spark and unify their grievances. Adolphus had fallen into it by accident, but like a piece of driftwood caught in a whitewater flood, he had been swept along to his inevitable destination.
So, I can't offer an assessment of this book's overall quality, I'm afraid. Maybe, in the immortal words of Will Self, it turns into Tolstoy on p.2. Somehow I doubt it, though.