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The Madness Season

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  2,332 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
For hundreds of years, Earth has suffered under the yoke of alien conquerors: the dreaded Tyr, a reptilian race in which all individuality is submerged into a single, overarching consciousness. Determined to keep humanity cowed, the Tyr have culled from the captive population the most intelligent, the most curious, the most likely to foment rebellion, and banished them fro ...more
Mass Market Paperback, Daw Science Fiction, 495 pages
Published October 3rd 1990 by DAW (first published October 1990)
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(showing 1-30)
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4.5 stars. Excellent blending on science fiction and monster mythology (don't want to say more and give away the surprise). Another superb novel by a terrific writer.
Kat  Hooper
Jul 19, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
4.5 stars
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

I am quickly becoming a fan of C.S. Friedman. Audible Frontiers has recently produced all her novels in audio format, so I snatched them up and I'm happy I did. Her science fiction is original, imaginative, and super smart.

In The Madness Season, a man named Daetrin is old enough to have fought in the last battle when the Earth was conquered by the aliens of Tyr. That was three hundred years ago and the Tyrians want to know how Daetrin is still ali
May 10, 2013 J. rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I loved this book. I've been busy so it took me far too long to finish, but every time I came back I fell right back in. I liked the style, the story, the characters and the narration was excellent. Most sci-fi is plagued with flat characters, it's something sci-fi fans have learned to live with. This is not the case with Friedman's characters, they are lively, well rounded and you learn to appreciate even the ones you don't like.

You can't tell people you're reading a book about a vampire in spa
This book is just amazing; every time I re-read it I am just as invested in the characters, their growth, and their individual pieces of the whole story as I was the very first time, if not more so. I would love for there to be more of this book, but at the same time I could never give up the perfect ending.

I'm also caught between the urge to do a thorough thematic review and talk about this story's use of gender, religion, memory, civilization, etc., and the urge to spoil you for nothing, so I
Sep 08, 2014 Crystal rated it really liked it
I never read the blurb for this book. So imagine my surprise when the abilities of the main character, Daetrin, were revealed. I found this book to be a real pleasure. It seems to have a quest-like storyline that is more common in fantasy novels, so that probably helped my enjoyment. I found the actual science in the book much better left unexamined, like how the Tyr communicate. But it's a really good story, and it does what science fiction should do - it makes you forget about what you think i ...more
Feb 06, 2012 LenaLena rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Very good up until 80% or so when the urge to fit everything neatly into a perfect little puzzle must have become too overwhelming for the author. When there is such a vast array of creatures-with-special-rules-that-the-author-made-up, it feels really contrived if they all just happen to fit together so perfectly. Bow-on-top epilogue didn't help.

Still, enjoyable overall.
Apr 24, 2013 Rae rated it it was amazing
What can I say about a vampire book where the one and only time the word "Vampire" is used is on page 157. This is one of my all-time favorite books in the SF-Vampire category.
May 12, 2008 Melinda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi books. It's been read many times and it always stands up. I don't think this author has written a better one since this came out. That good!
Fantasy Literature
Jun 01, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it

I am quickly becoming a fan of C.S. Friedman. Audible Frontiers has recently produced all her novels in audio format, so I snatched them up and I’m happy I did. Her science fiction is original, imaginative, and super smart.

In The Madness Season, a man named Daetrin is old enough to have fought in the last battle when the Earth was conquered by the aliens of Tyr. That was three hundred years ago and the Tyrians want to know how Daetrin is still alive. So they’ve captured him, just like they’ve
Jan 16, 2012 Legsoffury rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
I must say, I really enjoy C.S. Friedman character creation. This is certainly not a sci-fi book, despite the "space" exploration and the picture of the spaceship on the front. It doesn't focus on science nearly enough to be a sci-fi....and actually that is part of what I like about it. So if you are a sci-fi fan, you may be a little peaved by some of the logical contradictions.

I enjoyed losing myself in the context and the characters and tried not to pay too much attention to the fine details.
Harper Kingsley
Oct 01, 2011 Harper Kingsley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
This is every shapechanger/vampire story come to life in a future Earth that has been overrun by the alien Tyr. A man--Daetrin--trying to lay low and hide the fact that he was alive a hundred years ago when the Conquest took place and that he can remember a time when things were different.

When he is discovered, he is taken to the sector controller and shipped off Earth, never to be allowed back. Because of this he meets a creature somewhat similar to himself, humans making a life on other planet
Not my favorite book ever, but I give it many, many points for originality. Somehow, the author combines hive-mind aliens; more aliens; non-embodied entities; shapeshifters (more than one type, at that); vampires; Earth's takeover, and the aftermath; a fight for the salvation of the human race; a multiple-planet, interstellar setting; and probably several things I've forgotten. And, somehow, it works. It works well. All these things are mixed together and an intriguing, actually coherent story c ...more
Feb 09, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Beneath a somewhat uncomfortably balanced plot and several science fiction tropes that never quite seemed unique, The Madness Season is an interesting, engrossing book that might require some effort for readers to fully embrace. Regardless, it's well worth the read.

Read my full review here:
Sep 16, 2012 Bookbrow rated it really liked it
Really more of a 4.5, I am increasingly of the opinion that C.S. Friedman is one of the better sci fi writers around. There is such depth to her characters, and richness to the world building, they are substantial fulfilling stories. Highly recommended.
Paul Spence
Jul 03, 2014 Paul Spence rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I don't want to give away any secrets about the story (READ IT) so I'll keep this review short. If you haven't discovered this author yet, this is a good book to start with.

It is mythic and intense. It also contains quite a few surprises.

Highly recommended.
Mark Stenquist
Nov 20, 2016 Mark Stenquist rated it it was amazing
Even though it took a while to read, this was a really good book. This book was equal parts science fiction and drama, going back and forth between learning about the different alien species and delving into the main characters psyche. The aliens were well thought out and fascinating in their own right.

It takes a *very* anti-religious tone, choosing to portray religion solely in the "opiate of the masses" train of thought, where religious people are guided by fear and an uncaring god whose teac
Feb 20, 2017 Shining rated it liked it
I felt like this book was quite imaginative but it wasn't anywhere near as good prose wise, characterwise or as interesting as her Coldfire Trilogy.
Dec 25, 2016 Ann rated it it was amazing
C. S. Friedman is a brilliant author and this book does not disappoint. Taking place centuries after aliens enslaved Earth, one special man, with help from other fascinating characters, looks for ways to fight against an overwhelming force.
Jeremy Huntsinger
For me science fiction is about exploring the world with something in science that isn't possible with our technology. I need to rethink this concept to looking at a Science and exploring its concepts in a fantastical way. That's what The Madness Season does very well.

Sure this is a book with aliens, spaceships, and faster than light travel but that is more a vessel and not the point of this book. No I think it is the psychology that really is fascinating, specifically how long life spans effect
Mar 16, 2016 Heather rated it it was amazing
There’s so much going on in this book that I don’t know how to condense it down. The plot and characters are portrayed intimately with the perfect balance of narrative and exposition. Discoveries and epiphanies don’t bog down the narrative–they keep up with the heart-pounding pace. Most books that rely on this much revelation get bogged down at some point by exposition. Not so in The Madness Season–they’re woven into the narrative so skillfully that they add rather than detracting.

Characters hav
Aug 08, 2008 Brendan rated it liked it
This felt a lot like Friedman's first novel, In Conquest Born: it's her second book ever so it's nearly as old, and the writing is still a bit raw and unfocused at times. Yet it manages to explore some old sci-fi concepts in new and interesting ways. That's a consistent thread in her sci-fi that I'm a fan of.

Plot-wise it's an odd sort of individualized and limited space opera despite the huge universe the story takes place in. The closest comparison is probably Battlefield Earth, and the more
May 27, 2010 Laurie rated it liked it
Kidnapped vampire in space: I should be given credit for being over the age of 15 and admitting that I have read this book. That said, it was fun and fast-paced with very interesting plot twists as well as character depth. Being under the subjugation of a master hive race for hundreds of years, all of humanity has forgotten much of who and what they are, including their passion for learning and self-discovery. Those with an inkling of genius or even curiosity are shipped off to live off-planet t ...more
Andrew Zink
I'm not a vampire/werewolf nut by any means but I was intrigued by the cross-over idea of mixing in a true sci-fi element. This was a surprisingly engaging read. The plot in short--several centuries after Earth has been conquered by an alien race they find a long-lived human they can't explain. Turns out he's a vampire, but one who understands his genetic condition and has tamed it with science, until he is banished off world and has to deal with his body and needs returning to their normal stat ...more
Jamie Collins
Dec 18, 2013 Jamie Collins rated it liked it
Science fiction novel about a vampire hiding among the remnants of mankind, which has been utterly conquered, suppressed and dispersed by an alien warrior race. He fought futilely against the conquest, then spent many years laying low, but now the aliens have finally discovered his uniqueness. They ship him off Earth in order to study him.

The vampire has long been using medication which allows him to avoid drinking blood, but in captivity he loses access to it and begins to revert to older ways,
Jun 16, 2014 Vickstar rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Probably more of a 3.5 for me. I have enjoyed the C.S. Friedman that I have previously read (my favourite by her has been the psychiatry/psychology science fiction adventure This Alien Shore), so I thought I'd try something else by this author. She's a talented world-builder and creates intriguing and believable alien races, and this book is no exception. There are alien invasions aplenty in the Madness Season and an intriguing look at what makes a human part of humanity. Another major element o ...more
Charles Lupo
Dec 18, 2011 Charles Lupo rated it liked it
I swear I read this book when I was younger, but I remembered next to nothing of the story, which is very unusual for me. I suspect that I never finished it.

I think it's just the author's style, but her books seem to move along very slowly. That's my only real criticism. The characters are interesting, the aliens are...alien. I try to keep reviews spoiler free, so it's hard to say much about main character, but he is a unique twist on a classic monster.

I would like to say the long journey is wo
Adam Koebel
May 21, 2012 Adam Koebel rated it liked it
Incredibly ambitious, the book tries to take on vampires, hard sci-fi, alien occupation of earth, fantasy elements and the ideas of identity and biology all in 500 pages. The trouble, though, is that the author tends to meander about what I couldn't help but find irrelevant details (entire pages about the colours on walls or recollections the main character has about some relatively insignificant memory). I found that I felt either really engaged or completely disinterested, my attention to the ...more
Jan 16, 2014 Rain rated it it was ok
Disappointing. I have generally enjoyed Celia Friedman's works, especially her Coldfire and Magister trilogies, but not this one. I am guessing it was one of her earliest works and just isn't up to the same standard I have come to expect from reading her more recent work.

While I liked the base premise, the idea of a human vampire/shapeshifter chimaera and his relationship with the alien "mirra" energy entity/shapeshifter presented as a female was an intriguing concept -

But I found the way it w
Oct 20, 2015 Stefanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, full of incredibly different ideas. I can't say much without spoiling it, but a fresh take on an old mythology, mixed with a tale of winning Earth & humanity back from an alien race - with the help of another alien race. The epic sweep of this tale is both a positive and a negative: at times it's hard to track how wildly different the settings & goals are at each point in the story, and this probably should have been a trilogy, to allow for better development between the pieces. As ...more
Jul 01, 2011 Sara rated it really liked it
A fascinating book. At first it was a little unclear as to exactly what was going on, but as the book progresses things are cleared up. Partially the lack of explanation is probably meant to encourage you to read on.

The basic story is that the Earth has been subjugated by an alien race and our protagonist, who is of somewhat questionable origins, has been attempting to live peaceably amongst them when he is thrown into a position where he must take a more active role if he wishes to survive. The
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Celia S. Friedman is a science fiction and fantasy author. She has also been credited Celia S. Friedman and Celia Friedman.
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“anger of any kind is a dangerous emotion, it eats at the nerves and eventually makes you careless” 3 likes
“The Tyr had tried. It had really tried. It must have gone over every element of human psychology, tried desperately to understand the nature of human aesthetic sense … and then failed, miserably, in every regard.” 3 likes
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