I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Just a Curtain by J.L. Lawson
Genres: Science Fiction
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Just A Curtain chronicles the remarkable life and
achievements of Dashiel Drummond and the capable group of people he
gathers around him to make a change for the better in the world in which
he finds himself. This is a coming of age story; orphaned at sixteen, he rises through the angst of
adolescence to the challenge of fulfilling the promise of his
potential--from ranch hand and welder to the builder of starships...
Just A Curtain is the remarkable, fast-paced gateway to the grander saga of the
journey toward true self-realization recorded in J. L. Lawson's other
works: The Donkey and The Wall trilogy and The Curious Voyages of the
Anna Virginia Saga.
I went into this book knowing nothing of the other series of which this is supposed to be a prequel.
The book starts off introducing us to Dashiel Drummond, who is the son of a wealthy couple who happen to own an international billion dollar corporation. Dash’s parents get killed on a trip and he is left to take over his family’s ranch at a young age of 16. Soon after, he takes over the family businesses after his parents’ partners bow out.
Dash seems to be extraordinarily gifted and smart, which is not unknown of in novels as many go with this theme (Artemis Fowl being my favorite). Dash not only runs the business well but diversifies it into all kind of industries and new technologies. He works for the betterment of mankind with new tech in medical, transportation, etc. which eventually leads to star ships. Dash is a great boss, treats everyone in his life well, and really succeeds in everything he goes for.
The book starts off pretty slow and meanders in his family’s ranch. He has a girl in his life, but he never actually marries her…I’ll get to that in a second. Detailing the running of the ranch, including hiring a family to oversee part of it was quite interesting. Then he decides to build a boat (something he planned with his mother before she died), and the book gets stuck here for quite a while detailing all the steps of building a boat. Yes, I don’t care about what it takes to build a boat. We finally get out of that mess and the book starts taking off when Dash starts getting into his business ventures.
We’re plotting along here covering Dash’ relationships, subordinates, and amazing technologies and business ventures for quite a while. This is the part of the book I really enjoyed. Then out of the blue (about 60%) we’re introduced to Dash’ wife… Not the highschool girl from the beginning (she just works for him now)…no he ended up marrying an alien, and a cat alien at that. We’re not even given any info on meeting this new alien race on an alien planet or anything, although obviously we had space travel at this point. I tuned out after this and just skimmed the book to finish which covered more relationships, how to properly introduce the aliens to the populace, etc.
Overall, I did enjoy a lot of the book. I think it could have done better without the boat building part, with a more gradual introduction to the aliens, Dash actually marrying the childhood friend he grew up with, and splitting the book into two parts as it was just too long and really the space part probably ought to be in its own book. I did find the business ventures and technologies to be interesting, and there were a bunch of really well-developed characters in the novel. I’m sure the novel would be more meaningful for readers who have read the other series with these characters.