"What about our human rights,' demanded Carl, who'd gathered a small deputation of kids within minutes. 'There is a WAR ON,' said Crewman Devlin, shor"What about our human rights,' demanded Carl, who'd gathered a small deputation of kids within minutes. 'There is a WAR ON,' said Crewman Devlin, shortly. I wondered if this meant grown-ups actually listen to you when there wasn't a war on, because somehow I was sceptical." Teccc - my reading partner - is unquestionably right: The book loses some of its naughty snappiness and sarcasm as it proceeds and it gets more and more predictable after the small, nerdy gang of kids and their maniacally cheerful, robotic goldfish tutor flee the kiddie cadet academy on Mars in a stolen spaceship in order to find adult help or a way back home to earth. Also, the characters - both human and alien - reminded me often of those in "The True Meaning of Smekday".
Still, I enjoyed the story and its messages well enough. As "Smekday" does, it encourages the reader to have a look at the enemy's position/reasons/lack of other options/history, it stresses that there are always people who flourish because of war - career-wise, money-wise or morality-wise (meaning actions which are cautiously sanctioned or meticulously dissected angle by angle in a well-functioning society are overlooked or hastily permitted in war, because survival as a whole is at stake and long-term problems or ethical qualms suddenly play a secondary role to immediate results), and it certainly devises not to give up at any seemingly hopeless point of any endeavor.
The ending wrapped up everything pretty nicely while pointing out that in most disputes compromises have to be tolerated and that the notion to be able to return a society or a country to what it was "before"/in good old times/at a certain point is always unrealistic/undoable. Change happens. I can imagine reading the sequel at some point. Yes, definitely. Goldfish, bring it on!...more
The highly praised "classic" series' starter in dragon fantasy ... I expected so much, but I didn't anticipate that I would tun away bored, fed up witThe highly praised "classic" series' starter in dragon fantasy ... I expected so much, but I didn't anticipate that I would tun away bored, fed up with most of the characters and absolutely uninterested in the general outcome after 175 pages of which the first 30 were even reasonably exciting. Well. I had to try. The now 50 years-old Pern Chronicles are simple too famous not to give them a chance....more
*** Abandoned around 48%. *** He held himself like someone who'd spent his life in the military. And she knew what military men liked. “I didn't know y*** Abandoned around 48%. *** He held himself like someone who'd spent his life in the military. And she knew what military men liked. “I didn't know you were expecting me.” Renna used her best seductive voice. [...] Men were always so easy to read. [...] Gods, she hated working with other women. They were always so catty and competitive. Always so ready to stab you in the back if it meant getting ahead.
Sometimes I enjoy switching on my Kindle to buy a random, but recommended title on a complete whim. That's why I try to keep my paper TBR pile rather low. Having to sweep my eyes guiltily across a mountain of brand-new paperbacks when snuggling up with a spontaneous purchase kills half of the carefree fun. Futuristically flavored spaceship stuff has always held an inexplicably strong appeal for me, and a bit of boy-girl-electricity - if not overbearing - added to the mix is almost always appreciated. Therefore the enthusiastic review of Emily May, whose opinions I value highly, reeled me unto Amazon's shores with a juicy snap.
I eagerly started reading and found out quickly, that the world-building is unspectacular, but alright. Beam me up Scotty, if the weapons, vehicles and alien anatomies do not sound boringly startrekky: 'Heliolights', 'gamma particle stabilizers', 'nanotech spanners', 'radiowings', 'sonic screwdrivers' and 'magnacrafts'. Uhuh. That's cool sounding stuff, but it merely adds a thin sci-fi sheen to a more or less familiar high-class-thief setting. The setting is not the only thing that feels painted-on: “The smell of raw silk from his dark uniform making her take a step back. [...] The smell of starfuel, machinery, and space filled her lungs.”
I admit, I understand where Emily May's relieved gushing concerning the heroine's unrestrained use of her own body, her feeling at home in her physical shell, and her making the most of her feminine effect on guys comes from. All that usual focus on naive, timid and pure virgins in the need to be conquered, taught and saved grates on one's nerves pretty quickly. But I do not enjoy this 'liberated' shot at gender stereotyping more: All men are simple and quickly relieved of their innermost secrets, when a waterfall of thick and shiny hair (I cannot stand one single flick of the heroine's glorious ponytail more), a carefully window-dressed pair of boobs or a sultry voice is used to prod their explosive libido into action. In addition, men are always quickly hurt in their pride, being male equals being unconcerned about hygiene or the lack thereof in one's abode, and it means being able to differentiate work from private relationships. The crew of the 'November' consists only of men in order to do a kidnapping job properly without staff members being swayed by guilt or compassion for a victim young enough to be their kid. Naturally, their women-free vessel stinks and is in disarray, Renna notes with haughty disdain. On the other hand she does not like to work with other women, because they are all "catty and competitive" (compare quote on top).
"Sleeping with the chief engineer of the V’Mani Electrical Company had been one of her better decisions." / "With a sigh Renna followed Viktis from the ship. Good thing she’d washed her sexy underwear." I do not judge Renna for exchanging sexual favors for crucial information or access to her targets' inner sancti and I congratulate her for being able to feel pleasure even when encountering a stranger's naked body is mainly part of her business strategy, but I resent her conviction that because of male simplicity physical seduction is a foolproof method (Luckily at least MYTH leader Dallas seems to be unimpressed, which makes her saloon girl antics look rather silly and pitiful) and that she needs to employ it to keep that final edge, which others in her line of work do not have enough spunk or guts or sexiness to allow themselves to gain. Also I do not get why she is so angry about being called a whore. Her sexuality is a commodity she is quick to barter with. Women in the Star Thief universe do not maintain their shape to feel good but to get their way. To use a second example, Mary, the 'Athena's' on-board cook had been a mercenary in her youth, too, but after her husband's death and her switch from thief to kitchen staff she has allowed her body to go overweight and matronly - apparently she has no use for feminine weaponry anymore.
Even as the genre is concerned I differ with Emily and the majority of readers shelving the book. Renna is only 23 years old, but if plot wasn't relying so heavily on her body as a currency and a means to trick men to part with their brains and their secrets, she could as well be 50. She is very, very experienced and sought after in her profession, she knows the other players in her field and she speaks of immediate retirement plans more than just once. Therefore I would never label her story as New Adult fiction. I consider 'The Star Thief' as a standard example of romance-tinged scifi told from a female point of view. Most female romance heroines are in their twenties - whether they populate chicklit, historical bodice-busters or paranormal romance. New Adult to me means first job (uni time counts as well), first live-in partner or flat-mate, first attempts at being an independent adult. (Still, notwithstanding Renna's abundant experience and professionality she is trusting enough to let a very shady scientist with a murky agenda tamper with her broken brain implant. What if he installed a bomb, a tracker, something that makes her sense impulses which aren't real? Apparently even the best can be mightily stupid.)
I have not mentioned the love interest yet, which is probably unforgivable in a scifi romance review. Well, I have to say that after reading almost half of the book I have not learned much about the icy-eyed, well-muscled Hunter/Finn. It is obvious from the first encounter that apart from sexual tension there is a huge misunderstanding wedged between the former gang mates concerning who betrayed whom. And when that is cleared away, which is just a matter of time, everything will be peachy and the lacy underwear and the flexible, bulletproof spiderman-nano-schmano-suits will be ripped off under an ultra-violet dry-shower or in a starfuel tank.
'The Star Thief' has ‘self-published material’ written all over it. It shows a desperate need to be cleansed of annoying repetitions and ballast and turning-arounds-in-circles: Twice Renna is ultra-angry and shocked about the revelation that the rescue mission at the beginning had been just a test to assess her abilities. (”You mean you used this kid as a frakking test for me?” she snarled. / ”Was Myka's rescue a test?” Dallas nodded.) and I haven’t really counted how often she blathers about “a girl” and her need of "morals": A girl had to have her morals, but that line was getting further and further away the more he touched her. / But a girl had to have her principles, and slavery didn't fit into her moral code. / A girl had to have her morals, but where should she draw the line? *Sigh*. A girl has to have some stamina, but, I, personally, drew the line at 48% percent.
A less important side remark: I always thought that self-publishing meant being in charge of many things a traditional publisher otherwise decides without consulting you. Therefore I am very irritated that the cover girl looks so porcelain-dollish in spite of the heroine being in the possession of coffee-colored complexion.
Obviously, Renna and her adventures were not for me. But I am sure there are still some spaceship romps out that that do match my taste. Titles I loved were 'Startide Rising' by David Brin and 'Song of Scarabaeus' by Sara Creasy (both in the adult section). Can you recommend similar titles to me? I am curious about 'On Basilisk Station' by David Weber, ‘Perdition’ by Ann Aguirre and 'The Apollo Academy' by Kimberly P. Chase – although the latter is probably pretty chicklitty. ...more
Far from perfect, but unexpectedly smooth to read (My last update: "For something independently published it's actually quite nice. There are some logFar from perfect, but unexpectedly smooth to read (My last update: "For something independently published it's actually quite nice. There are some logic glitches and some parts when the plot drags, but a lot of romantic scifi by major publishing houses has them, too. I am honestly thinking about buying volume 2 (2.99 EUR for Kindle)....more
The comic style and the illustrations are gorgeous. But I am not sure how old you have to be to be able to understand and enjoy the story. I guess youThe comic style and the illustrations are gorgeous. But I am not sure how old you have to be to be able to understand and enjoy the story. I guess you need at least to be quite familiar with flying saucers and little-green-guys-with-antennas-culture. When do children normally acquire that sort of basic sci-fi 'knowledge'? I am at loss....more
"Salvage" presenting itself on my nightstand has been the result of an on-the-fly book-swap I did with a friend here on Goodreads.
Though curious, I ha"Salvage" presenting itself on my nightstand has been the result of an on-the-fly book-swap I did with a friend here on Goodreads.
Though curious, I had already braced myself for draggy, beautiful, but rather boring parts, because of some reviews by Goodreaders, whose opinions usually do no stray that far from mine. I waited and waited, holding my breath from time to time, but that bored feeling just would not come! There were some things that made me go "Huh?" (view spoiler)[like the earlier actions of Ava, who did not even dare to look men and boys straight into their eyes because of her upbringing, consenting to have spontaneous sex with her supposed future husband in an onboard citrus grove after sharing a few forbidden kisses and sloshing a bit around in a water tank (hide spoiler)], but all in all my reading experience can be labeled as a success. I stayed up much too late and started reading right with my coffee mug in hand in the morning. The sceneries both in Mumbai and on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch colony were an unexpected bonus and effortlessly easy to picture in my mind....more
*** 3.5 stars ***. The forceful lovey-dovey-parts of this YA-mudtreck-in-space-romanscifi came kind of out of the blue after a lot of tiptoeing and/or*** 3.5 stars ***. The forceful lovey-dovey-parts of this YA-mudtreck-in-space-romanscifi came kind of out of the blue after a lot of tiptoeing and/or snapping around each other while crossing deserts, forests and plains on foot, but were tearjerkingly enjoyable. Altogether the book was surprisingly readable in my opinion, even though not especially original or eventful: Around the end of each of the scenes I automatically went back into my mind's reading history to pick out comparable scenes in books I had consumed earlier and concluded most of the time - not all of the times - that those were better done, more exciting, sexier, grittier, more plausible, more realistic or more memorable. Still, I kept returning to the story without any effort. The outcome of this story was of interest to me and the imprint of the characters on my heart will certainly not last forever, but surely for a week or even two or three.
The sequel seems to have different narrators as is fitting for this kind of juvenile heartthrob scifi series. After Anna comes Lola, right? I look forward....more