This book comes smack in the middle of a series. Even so, it was billed as a good entry point for newcomers. I ended up enjoying Schism
by the end of the novel, but I admit it was slow going at first.Schism
suffers from two major faults. The first is a series of Tom Clancy-esque point of view switches. Thankfully, Asaro doesn't change POV
multiple times per chapter(as Clancy does). However, I wasn't as engaged with some characters as I was with others, and I was often impatient to skip less interesting sections.
The second issue is that of worldbuilding. I admit, I grow impatient with worldbuilding. I don't need to know what dialect your character is speaking, unless it's germaine to the plot (I'm probably the only person in existence who cannot get through Lord of the Rings, no matter how many times she tries!).
I feared Asaro's work was going to go down the Tolkien path. Thankfully, the infodumps seemed to taper off as the book went on.
Once the plot kicked into high gear about midway through the book, I actually found myself intrigued by both the premise and the world, so I will be reading Schism
's sequel. For anyone interested in this novel, I would recommend hanging in there until the end. It's worth it.