Translation Is No Substitute for Interpretation

Debris Dreams by David Colby

First Look:

It’s simple, graphic, gets the point across.  She’s not in a ball gown!

Jacket Copy:


1.5 million kilometers above the surface of the Earth

Drusilla Xao has only seen a tree in movies and vid-games. She has never breathed air that wasn’t recycled, re-filtered, and re-used a hundred times over again. She has never set foot on the Earth.

And now she never will.

When a terrorist attack by a radical separatist group on Luna destroys the space elevator that had called so many – including her parents – to live permanently in space, Dru is cut off from any hope of ever reaching Earth and her beloved girlfriend, Sarah. The Chinese-American Alliance declares immediate war on the rebels and conscripts everyone they can get their hands on…including Dru.

Cast adrift, forced to become a soldier, trapped in a nightmare of vacuum and loneliness, Dru’s training will help her survive, but only Sarah will be able to bring her home.

Worth Reading?

Look, I wanted to like this book.  But I just couldn’t do it.  I didn’t even finish it.

Notable Things:

Non-straight Romance!  All Dru wants is to get back to her girlfriend, Sarah.

The Alliance!  I have a fondness for any time a future merger between the U.S.A. and China is posited, mainly because of the Firefly association.

Unfortunately, it shares another likeness with Firefly, and that’s terrible Chinese.  Because Firefly is magic, I can forgive it there, but Debris Dreams did not seem to have the same kind of magic.  When I say “bad Chinese”, I don’t mean (necessarily) that’s it’s incorrect.  I mean it’s not natural.  When people mainly speak one language, but are fluent or mostly fluent in another, they insert the second language in places where it’s untranslatable, not randomly.  Of course, the average reader might not know this is how the Chinese was used, but I did, so it bugged me.


I thought I would love this book, with the Chinese influence and the soldier girl.  However, the bad Chinese defeated me.  As I said, I could have forgiven it if the story was wonderful, or the writing was amazing, but I couldn’t say either was.  I ended up not finishing because I just couldn’t take it anymore.


I received a free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.


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