Guardians of the Galaxy dir. James Gunn (2014) Fast and fun space opera that refuses to take itself (or the genre) too seriously. Some of the action scenes are more CGI slapdash than epic, but the designs and costuming are impressive and the characters are dosed up with oddball panache.
Seven Devils by Laura Lam & Elizabeth May (DAW, 2020); audiobook read by Christina Traister (Briliance Audio, 2020) A really enjoyable space opera. Strong, intelligent, well-developed characters; dystopia on a galactic scale; a detestable but devious villain; action aplenty. In short, as satisfying as the first half of a brace of books can be. Traister’s audiobook narration sauces the pudding.…
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit, 2013) Beneath layers of SF world-building (and guiding the reader to a gradual accord with such) lies a deceptively simple story, told in parallel via a past and a present plot strand. Integral questions of self-identity suffuse and sustain the slow-burning space opera.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 dir. James Gunn (2017) Guardians manages to send up the superhero and space opera genres while still plying its trade within those realms (and benefiting from the associated conventions). The humour is patchy, all too often telegraphed yet proving very funny when out of the blue.