The Juggernaut, Peter A. Dixon – Book Review

I’ve mentioned a few times that I joined Wattpad to see what stories I could dig up there. I just finished my first full book there:

The Juggernaut, by Peter A. Dixon. Overall, I enjoyed the story, but it left me wanting in some areas.

A quick caveat: I read the Wattpad version of this book, so I’m not sure how different that is from the printed version, if it is.

In The Juggernaut, Dixon has created an intriguing post-Earth society where humans area spread across multiple star systems. The Juggernaut, in particular, is a man-made satellite of one star built completely out of the remnants of abandoned or dysfunctional spaceships.

First of all, that’s an awesome concept for a city.

Secondly, it feels very authentic as the setting for Dixon’s story. The way the residents of the Juggernaut have to wait for “new” supplies from abandoned ships or off-course traders. How the disorganization of the twisting “streets” between hulls feeds the general sense of fend-for-yourself living on the Juggernaut. And how one small community is grown and served by salvaging parts from abandoned ships to survive. All of this contributes to a very lived-in setting, even if it can be difficult to imagine (at least for me).

I also enjoyed the dialogue in this story. The interplay of the three main characters, Tila, Ellie, and Malachi, is dynamic and entertaining. Malachi’s play-by-the-rules attitude grates on Tila, who prefers to live apart of conventional society. And her strong independence and survival instincts contrast Ellie’s often naive nature. But Ellie sometimes finds Malachi’s careful, calculating approach to their racing condescending.

This story started out with three big notes: an intense prologue about a terrible accident of three colony ships; a thrilling chapter featuring Tila beating up a couple of thugs; and an exciting scene in which Ellie races dangerously around the Juggernaut while Malachi monitors her ship and course remotely.

Unfortunately, the action essentially stopped after that. Much of the rest of the story is spent in various conversations between these three friends, Malachi’s father, or a handful of others. The conversations always seem to be leading to something, but by the end of the book, that something appears to be… a sequel.

This story and these characters have a lot of potential, and Dixon’s writing style is easy to digest. As interesting and entertaining as this book was, even in the chapters featuring mostly dialogue, I wish there had been more narrative development.

I gave The Juggernaut a three-star review on GoodReads, but I definitely plan to read the sequel.

Steve D

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