Above all the author emphasises the perverse effect of conditioning which creates populations without substance only being able to live a limited, prearranged life, albeit magical yet often false. A world which, in fact, I would really like to know more about, especially after an ending which opens up new perspectives on certain planets.
For what is remarkable in this narrative isn't really the story, even if it serves as a good base and is both coherent and interesting. No, what really strikes the reader is epic human pageant revealed through the pages, as we delve into this fascinating Space Opera.
But really, the thing that absolutely affected me in the work was the way it made me dream of the stars. It reminded me of the importance of just looking up and admiring them, realising how beautiful they are, and how insignificant we are. The novel reminds us through a humble character like Prodige that in the end our lives depend on our dreams and our ties in real life - not just virtual recognition or a liberty empty of meaning and understanding. The conclusion, full of hope, turns out to be truly enthralling, even if certain aspects are slightly over the top in "happy ending" terms.
As I have already said, this cycle is a fresco, almost a choral work. It is enthralling, with its stellar subject matter written in an impeccably efficient poetic style that knocks us for six right from the start. It all depends on the reader what they will get out of it; in my case this book really affected me.
In setting education and the media against each other, La Mort du Melkine delivers a pertinent analysis of our society and its relationship with culture, but using the properties of a space opera, such as planets visited or space wars engaged in, as a framework. […]
Here then is a space opera that is both ambitious yet simple. This is a story that uses the sheer size of the galaxy to really only talk about one thing: the world we live in. Of course he’s not the first one to have done it, but he manages to do so with such brilliance in addressing a theme as vast as it is contemporary: our culture, how we are conditioned by it and how to use it to get what we want. The story begins on a planet where the people are permanently connected to a network and are incapable of freeing themselves from it. They are forced to be permanently on show, knowing exactly what the people they meet think of them. On this planet, it’s completely normal to have plastic surgery in order to sport the most shameless of bodily extravagances. A planet which makes references to social networks and the most well-known one in particular. A frightening planet then, but which really shows how we are conditioned by our environment and our culture. So the sequel portrays the Melkine, a ship taking pupils from different planets to attempt to abolish their conditioning. They give them a different vision of the world, so that they can understand it for themselves. A battle which might seem already lost, since even some teachers already seem imprisoned within their own culture.
Stegg , Psychovision
Please note! Be sure not to miss this author who is soon to become one of the best young French writers of science fiction.
Noé Gaillard, Murmures
Le Melkine is a disturbing work: light-years away from excessive Space Operas packed with action and passion; here we have the daily life of a school ship, a kind of bubble cut off from the different planets that comprise the universe set up by Olivier Paquet. The author takes his time to set the scene, and is more interested in political manoeuvres than scenes of ragged action; even if the latter are not totally absent. Le Melkine, with its curious planets ruled by cultural conditioning, reminds us of Galaxy Express by Leiji Matsumoto, the difference being that we don’t actually visit many planets. (…) the characters are interesting, with the presence of strong personalities.
In a way, the novel has the same effect as an opening volume of a graphic book series: the foundations of the universe are laid down, but some bearings and questions are left hanging in the balance, yet you can get a certain feeling about the work… we’ll have to wait for the next volume to see when things start seriously to get going! Frustrating as it may be, it augurs well for the second volume…