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Matriarch (The Wess'har Wars #4)

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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  485 ratings  ·  32 reviews
In thirty years, the invincible Eqbas will arrive at Earth to forcibly return the planet to what it once was—as retribution, in part, for the gethes' thoughtless near-extermination of an alien ocean-dwelling species. First, however, another world requires their attention: the crowded, ecologically ravaged planet of the swarming, insect-like isenj. Efforts to drastically re ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published September 26th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 786)
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Steve
Sep 20, 2008 Steve rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
This series continues to dissapoint. There are two more books in this series and now that I am four books into the series I will probably finish it (being that I bought all the books before I got to this point in the series). I am tired of the false moral dilemas that the characters are forced into. The problem is that the characters do not have a moral compass. They do not believe in an objective reality. They do not acknowledge a natrual or moral law. They do not acknowledge the difference bet ...more
Amy
The story and world of this book was phenomenal! I would have overlooked the many errors just for that alone, if there weren't so many. I'm shocked that a subsidiary of a major publishing company would put this book out in this condition. I read only about 30 pages and can't even begin to count the number of grammatical errors and duplicate words I encountered. Did no one edit this book before publishing? I expect this kind of thing from self-published ebooks (although I don't finish them either ...more
Paradoxical
Matriarch, I suspect, marks the beginning of my dislike of the Wess'har Wars series. I was mostly ambivalent about it before, somewhat leaning towards "Eh, not all that bad", but this book is large, top heavy, and is really beginning to bog itself down in little things that I just don't care about anymore.

I liked the progression of the first three books in that you slowly go from so-and-so species are good/bad to something a lot more complex with a lot of different moralities being flung around,
...more
erforscherin
(3.5 of 5 stars)

It's not a bad book, just a very slow one - with so much action packed into the previous installment of the series, this one bogs down immediately in an endless daisy-chain of discussions about the morals of characters and ethics of their actions. A few tiny (though important) revelations are made, but on the whole the action pretty much crawls to a halt in this book, and it definitely suffers for it. There's a lot to think about, and some of the points are in fact quite interest
...more
David King
"Matriarch" is the 4th book in Traviss' Science Fiction epic, The Wess'har War Series. As it is the 4th book I would advise people to stay away from this review unless you have already read the previous books. For anyone interested in the series then you can find my review of the first book in the series here on Goodreads.

The story picks up right where the previous novel, "The World Before" left off, with the the Eqbas preparing to take a break from their planned journey to Earth so that they ca
...more
Kathleen
It's been a while since I've read the other books in this series, so it's nice to rejoin these characters. One of the things I like so much is the way the author handles all the different storylines. Some writers think it's clever to end each section with each different group of characters with a cliff-hanger and then jump to a different set of characters in the next chapter.

Traviss completes each scene before moving on to the next set of characters, and since they are all equally as interesting
...more
Chani
I'm still enjoying the series but it's getting a bit... war-ie. That's the thing that always seems to happen with long series books. They start out awesome with all the good bits taking up much more space than the boring politics and war. But as you get further into the series, and the awesome stuff gets used up and fades, all you're left with is the politics and fighting. But, still good none the less. Though I will add that if this book goes where I think it will go (Lindsay infecting the jell ...more
Sibyl Cone
sci fi for the future

Real thought provoking sci fi. Characters with bottom and a great story to tell. Think about a universe where all species were of equal value and apply that formula forcefully.
Banner
My interest in the characters is the reason I believe I continue with this series. The first book is one of my favorite all time reads. This story is just dragging a bit but I still give it a three star and almost a four. Each book seems to pick up where the last left off with almost no time lag. I kind of think I know where this story is going not much surprising happens in this one.

The book deals a lot with the moral dilemmas of the various alien cultures. The author displays some bias toward
...more
Simeonberesford
It continues to amaze me that this very English writer does not have a British publisher.[return]Matriarch is very much a mid-series book. So do not read this this unless you have read the first, City of Pearl, and the other works that proceed this. I was aware of some copy editing errors this time out which always annoys me. The issues this series deals with all seem to have been pretty much defined now. Althought the cast do have their individual character and moral values tested as much as ev ...more
Celia Powell
I sometimes got a little lost on the Isenj politics and their civil war which results from the intervention of the Eqbas, but otherwise this fourth book in the Wess'har Series was very enjoyable. I loved Shan's developing role as matriarch in her household of two males (Aras and Ade, and their corresponding close relationship as housebrothers). And the Lindsay and Rayat strand of the story is fascinating. It is, however, so complex as to only appeal to those who have read and loved the earlier p ...more
Sheila
Sep 30, 2009 Sheila rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yes
Recommended to Sheila by: Sharon
Shelves: sci-fi
Traviss isn't a very good writer. But I like the complexity of the story. I don't have a good grasp of the human characters and find the relationship distant and boring. The alien characters are easier to understand. Many people show great admiration for the protagonist, while I find her very inconsistent. There was an issue near the end of the book that could have been left completely out of the story and no one would have been the wiser. But she left a great cliff hanger and I will probably ke ...more
Chad
This series is still interesting, but it's book 4 and still rehashing the same ethical debates over and over again while the main plot moves at a snail's pace. And whenever a character decides they dislike someone, they go WAY over the top in their hatred. It's almost cartoonish.
Booknerd Fraser
This series keeps getting better; there's a long more going on in this than the previous one; there's also a lot of emotional depth. The title is intriguing as there are three women who it could refer to.
Pete Aldin
I'm not a big fan of series fiction. The only real series that have kept me interested are the Arkady Renko novels by Cruz Smith, the Stainless Steel Rat and the Star Wars novels.

It's probabaly no surprise (to myself) that I can't sustain interest in the Wess'Har novels. By this fourth installment, my attention is wandering. I've picked it up three times to read and put it down again after a few chapters.

Now I've finally finished it, (and the familiar characters, plot and context made for reaso
...more
Adr_enne
I am really, really enjoying this series. Every book moves forward with more information, more detail and more complexity to the story lines. This is book four and I'm still rushing to buy the next one right away!
Joshua
Yawn. Another pro-woman pro-abortion pro-Europe yawn-fest. Guys are bad, except those subservient to women. All humans are evil except vegans and Earth First nutters. The moral superiority coming from the author makes me want to gag. And now she wants us to believe the main woman character is in a romantic relationship with two "men"? Give me a break - nothing could be further from believable except a world-dominating federal Europe (400+ years hence? really?).
However, I am just as stupid as her
...more
Gentlemanvillain
This book violates the 'show don't tell' rule too often, has a very, VERY awkward method of excavating internal monologue, evokes strange cliches where the aliens all understand humans but the humans don't get aliens very well (except in the book's scenario, everyone is an alien so it doesn't make sense) and has no real climax, resolution or characters worth following.
Jhutson456
Overall a good book, but so far my least favorite of the series. I can't quite pin down why, but it is. I still give it a 5 star rating because the series is awesome, and this book is not wasted. As with any series, there has to be a best and there has to be a worst. This one, thus far, scores in the shallow end of the pool. Still worth the read though.
LaDawn
Picked this up at a library sale for 50 cents. Glad I didn't pay more. I was turned off by the foul language in the first two pages. Why is it so hard to write adult fiction without swearing? I hear too much of it in the "real" world, I don't need to read it, too.
Guess I'll go back to young adult books. There's less chance of finding that there.
Elisa Wilson
Really great series. In this book we see the result of Aras and Ade's bad decision in "The World Before", and Shan's reaction to it. The fate of the nearly destroyed Bezeri still hangs in the balance, but it's not looking good. More is revealed regarding this mysterious sea dwelling civilization and it's history.
Lawrence
Umm. Boring? Continued exploration of the clash of cultures between humans and an advanced pro-environmental race of aliens, now with two other races that are "humans-could-turn-out-this-way" examples. And one side plot involves two characters living underwater. Dumb.
Karen Eckberg
I'm simply engrossed in this Wees'Har series. The characters continue to evolve. I read "World Before" in 3 days. The themes of family, ecology, and responsibility continue to swirl about in this 4th book.
Arlene
Interesting viewpoint of aliens toward humans and how mankind feels he is special, the beloved of the gods. Interesting how dominance is established in the aliens' matriarchal society. Good read.
Natalie
Surprised at the number of slang and curses a page.
Too many boring repetitions and explanations.
Too slow!
And sex scenes are ugly and out of place.
Rift Vegan
2006 Tiptree Shortlist. 4th in Wess'har War series. I've jumped into the middle of this series, but I'll definitely be reading the rest!
Ryan Beck
I'm still reading this one, but it's been a big upgrade (for me) over The World Before. It continues a great series...
Craig
Fourth in the Wess'har Wars series. I finished this one, but it was a struggle. I won't bother reading the fifth.
Vivian
I liked the first two books in this series. I didn't like books 3-5. And I'm definitely not reading book 6.
Bon
Way more relationshippy than I was expecting. It's definitely ramped up as the series as gone on.
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#1 New York Times best-selling novelist, scriptwriter and comics author Karen Traviss has received critical acclaim for her award-nominated Wess'har series, and her work on Halo, Gears of War, Batman, G.I. Joe, and other major franchises has earned her a broad range of fans. She's best known for military science fiction, but GOING GREY, the first of her new techno-thriller series, is set in the re ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Wess'har Wars (6 books)
  • City of Pearl (Wess'har Wars, #1)
  • Crossing the Line (Wess'har Wars, #2)
  • The World Before (Wess'Har Wars, #3)
  • Ally (Wess'Har Wars, #5)
  • Judge (Wess'Har Wars, #6)
Sacrifice (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, #5) Bloodlines (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, #2) Hard Contact (Star Wars: Republic Commando, #1) Revelation (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, #8) Triple Zero  (Star Wars: Republic Commando, #2)

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