This is the fourth in this space war series. Pick up this book quick if you are a fan of space war. There was an almost continuous series of battles iThis is the fourth in this space war series. Pick up this book quick if you are a fan of space war. There was an almost continuous series of battles in space. I cared about the characters, and wanted to follow what would happen to each one. I am even embarrassed to say I was interested in what was going to happen to the hideous evil enemy leaders.
I don't agree with the explanation of the evolution of the Ullagi. I would think phylogenetic forces would be a greater influence than availability of prey to the evolving Roons. The sexually dimorphic separation between male and female Ullugi is extreme and disturbing. Also disturbing, for me, are the analogies made between humans and Ullagi. Fist a'Yerg even says as much to Cassy Quinn at one point. Cassy denies the similarity, and I want to agree with her. While humans have been incredibility violent and overly war oriented, there is a difference. Humans have the potential to see the light and stop warring, at least temporarily.
Sharl Buccari is still the main hero of the story. She is surrounded by a cast of thousands of supporting stars. I am glad the body count of the main characters is pretty low. Enough characters we have gotten to know lose their lives to keep the threat and tension high, without turning me off with killing many major characters. Buccari has important roles to play on Earth and on Genellan and her role becomes even more important in this book.
This book is for people who are OK with reading about war. There is a great deal of world building going on. And there are stories about 4 different space faring species. And humans are having children and falling in love. I don't think you can enjoy this story if you don't enjoy space battles. I would tell most people to read the books in order. Each book builds on the characters and stories from each of the books earlier in the series, But this one is very different. This was all about the war in space. I could not put it down when on the last 100 pages. I want the author to make a sequel, please!...more
I enjoyed it even more than book one. We go many places, back to Earth, two new colonies, both Konish planets, into space and even to the south hemispI enjoyed it even more than book one. We go many places, back to Earth, two new colonies, both Konish planets, into space and even to the south hemisphere of Genellan. We finally meet the fleet destroyers. We see duplicity and untrustworthiness among all races. The little flying hunters make in into space. Our heroine is as amazing as always. I don't agree with all her decisions. but she makes the story more interesting with every decision she makes.
I am racing to get number three in the series, so I can plow into it. It was a quick read for me, because I was reading in every spare moment I could dig up.
This book would probably appeal to space opera fans. There is fighting at many technical levels. Alot of fighting against the strange natural beasts of the new colony worlds. There are space battles and many attempts to avoid fighting through diplomacy. For this book diplomacy is combat through alternate means. There are alot of characters and action on multiple planets to keep track of. I could imagine many readers might not like that aspect. I enjoyed it, although, of course, there are some storylines I am more interested in than others.
My one complaint with the series is that every single female gets pregnant or wants to get pregnant. I don't know what it is with the author, but I want him to accept that in the future not every female has to serve to carry babies to term.
I enjoyed the book and looking forward to the following books....more
Devoured was a competent addition to the canon of zombie stories. I found the book a very fast read, finishing it in one day and part of a night of r Devoured was a competent addition to the canon of zombie stories. I found the book a very fast read, finishing it in one day and part of a night of reading.
There is a very out of shape hero. He is far from an expert in weapons or unarmed fighting techniques. He has watched alot of television and movies, so he is acquainted, at an intellectual level, with the issues around a zombie apocalypse. This is good preparation because that is what he wakes up to in the hospital near the beginning of the book.
The monsters in the book are not strictly zombies, they are a zombie-vampire hybrid. They have problems with bright lights and the sun when they have undergone full transformation. There are what the hero calls daywalkers, who are on the road to transformation, but are not in the final state. The final monsters are overwhelmingly dangerous and are a challenge to heavily armed military units. Another villain in the story is uninfected humans who descend into barbarism and self serving evil.
After several days of difficult1y with all the villains mentioned, with the addition of stupid bureaucrats and poorly organized military types, our hero finds a great partner in the form of a beautiful, sexy babe with a big axe. Think of Buffy as a yuppy artist. The two fight their way through the city of Pittsburgh in the attempt to survive the end of civilization.
I found the book adequate to mostly hold my attention, but did not notice anything that made me want to read the next one in the series. I have never read any other zombie story, not counting I am Legend from 1950, so I don't know how fans of the genre would like this story. I suspect aficionados of the genre might find the story routine and predictable, but only they can judge. Again, a very fast read and containing all the points of canon for a zombie/vampire apocalypse....more
I enjoyed Genellan: Planetfall. It has the elements I like in a space epic: Marines check, women leaders check, paranoid alien species check, friendlyI enjoyed Genellan: Planetfall. It has the elements I like in a space epic: Marines check, women leaders check, paranoid alien species check, friendly aliens check, battles between crafts in space check, battle with small units on the ground check, difficult situations to survive check. The story maintained a balance between hope and unlikelihood of survival.
It was frustrating that almost every female on the human team becomes pregnant. Although it is great that the team is fighting to protect their babies, you can't get better motivation than that. But, is that the what women are consigned to in the future? I always like when horses can be made to play a part in a space adventure! We don't get that enough.
The military tactics seemed rudimentary, but that is OK for me, I don't see this as military fiction. During many battles, I was thinking, why don't they move their units differently, But after all the leaders are not experienced soldiers, they are doing the best they can. The final battle sequence was heartbreaking and the question was in doubt until the very end.
I think the ideal audience for this book is someone looking for light space adventure. It is not hard science or hard military. The reader must like horses, bats and babies. I enjoyed it and have bought the next one in the series to start....more
I give this story high marks. I think I mentally rate it a tiny bit lower than the first one. The pacing might have been a little slower and the viol I give this story high marks. I think I mentally rate it a tiny bit lower than the first one. The pacing might have been a little slower and the violence may be a little less. It is so rewarding to read a "action story" with very few deaths. I would consider this military fiction, but Jon tries extremely hard to keep deaths to a minimum. I appreciate the sentiment, and I think it is hard to accomplish in fiction and real life. But, as Jon says, "Just because you are able to do something, does not mean you should do it."
There are a raft of new characters in this story to interact with Jon and Lobo. Slanted Jack, Manu, Maggie, the group leader, black marketeer, EC bureaucrat and bodyguards. None of the characters visit from the first book except in mentions or by proxy. Again a child is at risk and needs to be rescued. In fact I am looking for a word for the plot device, because Manu is the fulcrum on which all the action of the book is moved, but he is not present in the flesh in most scenes of the book.
I enjoyed the ride of the action with minimal killing, can you say luge, A luge is a racing sled with the rider lying on their back. I admire the writing of Jon's experience with the device. As in the first book, machines can talk to jon and he can talk to them. Lobo is just as obnoxious as in the first book. His dialog bugged me at first, but then I realized I have real live friends who talk like that. Lobo is proud of his weapons and military hardware and wants to use it constantly. It is a constant theme that Jon has to continually reign in the violent tendencies of Lobo, I guess it is understandable, because Lobo is an inanimate flying combat carrier machine.
The book almost had romance in it. I would say it came as close to having romance, without having romance as you could in a story. There are cons going on, twists, deceptions on just about every page. I guess the theme of this book is that you can't trust anyone, not even the people who tell you they are using you in a con.
This leads to a discussion of plot predictability in genre fiction. This story followed the conventions of optimistic science fiction action stories. So many of the action resolutions and plot twists were predicable. I enjoyed how some of the storylines followed directions I expected. Some people who criticize predicable genre plot formulas forget there is a reason genre plot formulas are used. It is a delicate balance to give genre fans enough of predicable stories without going overboard with formula. I even think fans of a genre are willing to put up with more use of formula than non-fans. In this case the author used just enough genre formula for me.
This book is great for fans of military science fiction who can handle low levels of violence....more
I enjoyed One Jump Ahead. I was in the right mood to enjoy old fashion space opera. Moore is a loner with a troubled past. He takes jobs, and they goI enjoyed One Jump Ahead. I was in the right mood to enjoy old fashion space opera. Moore is a loner with a troubled past. He takes jobs, and they go south, so he has to clean up messes as well as he can. There is some odd science tech. The FTL issues is solved by Gates which are mysterious artifacts. He has nano-tech in his body that helps on missions. He acquires an AI brained combat craft that is part companion, part military weapon.
I liked that Moore keeps thinking he wants to avoid killing people. It makes the book series more enjoyable to me. I have read alot of military fiction and am getting tired of the huge body counts. Moore does kill a few people, but he seems to regret each one and try to avoid them. A feature that is missing in much science fiction action is the need for preparation and boring staging for successful action. Moore thinks about the tactical needs of each operation, and is described as waiting alone in rooms for hours or days in order to be in position for action. This preparation and boredom is a reality of military or police action that most writers leave out.
It is great, for me, that youth in danger is involved in the story. I am always a sucker for that. Apparently a feature of the series is that Moore constantly remembers back to his troubled youth and how he was in need of saving then. I like the whole dark mystery man. He needs to keep secrets about Lobo, his nano-tech and event his origin story from everyone.
This book will work for you if you want to read space opera with relatively happy endings. You need to suspend believe about science explanations and accept that Moore has somewhat unlikely tech advantages over those around him. Overall, I think, if you like military action will very minimal killing, you will enjoy this book. I have started the sequel and am enjoying the first 100 pages, so far....more
I enjoyed this book as much or more than the first one. I read the ARC ebook from Baen. So there are some typos and writing issues. This type of spac I enjoyed this book as much or more than the first one. I read the ARC ebook from Baen. So there are some typos and writing issues. This type of space opera is not for everyone. But coming from the right perspective and in the right mood made me the perfect audience. I enjoyed all the characters from the first book and certain new characters introduced here. The betrayal and changes of loyalty by characters give a small touch of realism to an mostly fantasy story.
A funny issue for me is that I know none of the literary references in the series. I think it is odd because I am 55 years old and have read about a book a week for my whole life. I guess it is a matter of what reading world you live in. I don't know any of the references to character names, except "Journey into the West." So it was tiresome to me with the references to those other stories without any explanation. It only distracted from my enjoyment a little bit.
I loved the world creation of the Arena. I was intrigued and fascinated with the idea of the Arena and the rules and other races. I am even able to put up with the "magical" powers that are somewhat in evidence. Of course the book is written so I can explain the magic, if I choose.
As other reviews say the character development is not at an extreme high level, but most people don't expect that in space opera. For me the character development and explication was sufficient to support the action and plot.
Speaking of action, this is the heart of the book and perhaps at the same time a source of weakness. I very much enjoyed the action and found those parts of the book edge-of-my-seat entertainment. The plot is driven by the dramatic action conflicts that occur in the story and the plot leads directly to the action. My criticism of the action is not any kind of problem for me. In every action scene very lucky and magical events play a role. I thought these features were fine for me. I saw the results I wanted to see in the conflicts and was willing to suspend disbelief every time. But, I could imagine some readers in some moods would not be willing to go along with the fantasy level of the space opera.
I say this is a great book. I think it should be read in order after the original title. There is continuity of characters, locations, rules and situations, that make pre-knowledge useful for a reader. This book requires a level of suspension of disbelief that means people need to enjoy space opera and are in the right mood to be able to enjoy it. People should pick up this book and prepare for a roller coaster of fun.
Strong book in the space war genre. I liked it, getting through the 500+ pages in a little over two days! But it was a hard book. I mean in the emotioStrong book in the space war genre. I liked it, getting through the 500+ pages in a little over two days! But it was a hard book. I mean in the emotional and psychological sense. It was not until about page 340 pages in that I laughed out loud, and there were only one or two more scenes with laughter after that. Probably a good way to portray kidnapping and turning little children into soldiers, but it was hard to read. I plan to give the next one in the series a try. Send me positive vibes. I would recommend this to hard core military sci-fi fans. Think "ender's game" but more realistic....more
This book engaged my attention. I enjoyed the read. I am not surprised this story has mixed reviews and is not to everyone's liking. I picked up thisThis book engaged my attention. I enjoyed the read. I am not surprised this story has mixed reviews and is not to everyone's liking. I picked up this book because I thought it might be helpful for a project I am researching. I began with a poor opinion of the writing and the story development. The longer I read, the more I appreciated the story and writing. I am like the reviewers who are of mixed feeling about the book. While I enjoyed the story, I would not tell others that it was a great story to pick up and read. This is a long story, clocking in at 640 pages which makes it able to explore its themes in depth. I did not feel that my interest waned, however I would say that reading the book, for me, was somewhat like work.
There are themes of alien invasion, mind control, identity, lost of self, guilt for failure, involuntary betrayal, trust, loyalty and love without hope. This strange novel is an Invasion of the Body Snatchers story, The point of view of the main character is an alien invader. The reader sees things through the eyes of a sympathetic alien. The alien invaders are mostly gentle and well-intentioned rather than the intentional evil conquerors we usually expect. The romance becomes first a triangle. then a quadrangle with multiple bodies and minds.
After reading, many of the plot twists felt right, but I did not see most of them coming. It was challenging to explore a unique love quadrangle. It was difficult being sympathetic to the alien invader. It was hard to accept the sappy love story underlying the plot. Also. each complication for the characters seemed frustrating and too hard to resolve.
Part of the challenge to giving a positive review for this book is the likelihood that if someone had described the plot points to me, before I had read it, I would have laughed and dismissed the book as too silly for me to read. But, having worked through the book, I appreciated it, and think the author did a good job covering some difficult topics and bringing resolutions to difficult themes and tropes.
I find it challenging to describe the ideal audience for this book, It is a romance, but the reader must put up with almost impossible odds for any of the romances to reach successful conclusions. The story is somewhat dark, since it happens after the human species has been mostly conquered and pacified through total mind replacement. It is also dark because the main character does not fit in among aliens or humans and is shunned and mistreated. I guess the ideal reader identifies with oppression and likes stories with difficult odds and with relatively happy endings. ...more
I enjoyed the ride of this space opera. As the third book in a series it continues and ties up an ongoing story. It uses a changing POV to tell the stI enjoyed the ride of this space opera. As the third book in a series it continues and ties up an ongoing story. It uses a changing POV to tell the story. One is Jim Holden who is in charge of the Rocinante, a stolen Martian warship.
This book spends a great deal of time on religious questions. One POV is Anna, a minister who travels into space. A major plot of this story, like the previous two, involves the challenge of the protomolecule and the struggle between the three great powers. Earth, Mars and the outer planets are in a power struggle and the protomolecule is one pole of the struggle.
The last quarter of the book involves an intense battle for control of the giant spaceship, Behemoth. This small unit fighting involves almost all characters in the story. The lead up involved the steps that all the characters took to bring them to the same spot in space.
I think this book would appeal to fans of space opera and readers who enjoy military fiction and alien invasion stories. I think it benefits from reading the three books in order....more
I have a mixed review to give for Fire Margins. I have decided not to continue reading this series. But, I have enjoyed all three of the books I haveI have a mixed review to give for Fire Margins. I have decided not to continue reading this series. But, I have enjoyed all three of the books I have read. I even mostly enjoyed this book number three. First the good things for me. This book has aliens, telepathy, time travel, mind control, and lots of sex.
I like the efforts to achieve peaceful cooperation between humans and Sholans. It is not just automatic that different groups of people will get along well, just because it is in their interest. There are also other alien species that play parts in the story, Touibans, Jalnians, Chemerians, Sumaans and Valtegans all are important to parts of the story. Valtegans are again the biggest villains. Most of their deprecations happen in the past though, 2,000 years in the past.
There is a slow reveal in the story of what happened in the Cataclysm on Shola. I wanted to keep reading the story to find the truth about the Cataclysm and the Valtegan connection to early Shola.
Time travel becomes more and more important as the story professes. Some people are controlled by others, through persuasion, preaching or ancient artifacts. Again, as in the previous two books there are many characters which leads to shifting POVs. There are about 20 main characters with the most central ones being Kaid, Carrie, Kusac, Vanna and the leaders of the Sholan Guilds. So this story has a lot going for it. I was entertained by much of the book. Next I will try to describe my problems with the book. It is not my intention to dissuade potential readers from taking up this book. As I say, I enjoyed it mostly and finished it and don't regret that I read it, I also know from the reviews of others that some people read these books over and over again. My intention is to explain why I am giving up on the series and perhaps this might be useful for people who have similar reading tastes to mine.
First the sex. I am not opposed to reading about furry sex. But there are some strange twists in the kinky sex in this story. Most of the central characters have sex with most of the other central characters. Which might be fine under certain circumstances, but they often don't want to. That's right the sex scenes, often, do not result from two mature adults deciding on sharing a pleasurable experience. It seemed to me that most hookups occurred against the better judgment and wishes of one or both partners. What is that all about? I see a Masters thesis from this topic. These hookups are not exactly of the Rhett Butler with Scarlett in Gone with the Wind variety, which I consider rape. But more like the lie back and think of England variety. One or both character is advised that it is best for the good of the society if they have sex with the person they don't want to have sex with. I hope I am not being a prude and making a bigger deal of this than I should. The sex part of the book seems like a major plot point in the story.
Another part of the story that experiences mission creep is telepathy. This has been a key aspect of the series. Carrie and Kusac are important to the story because of their telepathy and the special Leska bond they form which involves their telepathy. (which also requires them to have intense sex once every 5 days, whether they want to, or not. I'm just saying.) There used to be limited numbers of telepaths among the Sholan and Terrans. But in this book it is exploding like a sale on a holiday. Every central character in the book has telepathy, is developing telepathy or is somehow sensitive or reactive to telepathic powers. I enjoy the telepathy aspects of the plot, but it kind of reduces the specialness of the power if every single character in the story has it.
Now I will address the Mary Sue aspect of Carrie the lead character. I don't exactly mind that she has the classic Mary Sue characteristics. I think Mary Sue storylines are fine. What does bother me is the whiny complaining character of Carrie, And the trait has infected most of the other characters in the story, There is a page for just about every character where they are flying off the handle against some imagined slight by another character who is supposed to be their friend or ally. This bothered me during the whole book. I kept forgiving it, to a certain extent, by telling myself that adults are like this in the real world. Our world is full of adults who act like bratty children.
Ok, I have tried to convey what aspects of the book I liked, and those parts of it which have brought me to the decision to not read the additional 4 books in the series. I hope my review will be helpful to someone out there....more