Space opera deluxe. This second installment expands upon the characters and world-building of Stellarnet Rebel in every way imaginable. It's the conti...moreSpace opera deluxe. This second installment expands upon the characters and world-building of Stellarnet Rebel in every way imaginable. It's the continuation of an epic story, so if you haven't read book one, go there first.
I love the prologue. It's an alien version of a Greek myth origin story, and ties the books together powerfully. There's more to Belloc's and Duin's relationship than just Genny O'Riordan. Stellarnet Prince is really Belloc's story, and that perhaps isn't emphasised as much as I'd like throughout the book. There's so much fascinating stuff going on--government conspiracies, alien intrigue, family tensions--that his "once and future king" story arc does get a little lost at times. But you'll be too busy enjoying the fun characters and the sheer depth of Ms. Hilton's impressive future vision.
Surveillance, privacy, fame, empire building, sexual freedom, racial (in)tolerance, forgiveness: I had a blast exploring these and much more in Stellarnet Prince. But at the centre of it all is a sweet, quietly inspiring love story between a human woman and two alien men, who also happen to be the most loved/hated family unit in the galaxy.
A good sci-fi read. Not the sequel I was expecting, but I enjoyed Blue Nebula on its own terms. Given Sola's deadly capabilities and her hatred of her...moreA good sci-fi read. Not the sequel I was expecting, but I enjoyed Blue Nebula on its own terms. Given Sola's deadly capabilities and her hatred of her emperor father, I geared up for an action-packed ride. What I got was an intriguing space opera novella more concerned with who she was, what she was, and where she came from; it featured the most dysfunctional royal family EVER. It also served up several solid twists that complicated Sola's revenge on the old tyrant. Javan wasn't given as much to do this time, but he remained her lifeline to happiness...and sanity.
All in all, a well done story that stayed true to its pulp SF roots, and earned bonus points for going to some pretty dark places.
Ms. Hilton made a huge effort with the worldbuilding in Stellarnet Rebel, and her characters play off it beautifully. The Glin, a semi-aquatic alien r...moreMs. Hilton made a huge effort with the worldbuilding in Stellarnet Rebel, and her characters play off it beautifully. The Glin, a semi-aquatic alien refugee race whose plight is given the Stellarnet spotlight by blogger Genny O'Riordan, are a fascinating bunch. Two males in particular, Duin and Belloc, who feature prominently in the story, couldn't be more different from one another if they tried, yet both point to a common underlying strength in this seemingly beaten species. They have unfinished business with their overlord enemies, and perhaps each other. All they need is a helping hand, and someone willing to bring the best out in them.
Genny's a fun, very liberal heroine who lives life by her own heart and her own moral compass. She sees helping the Glin as the right thing to do, and that's that. Her blog becomes a sensation, so presumably most people agree. But there's also a hint of a perverse public obsession with Genny and her alien partners, particularly in regard to the obvious interspecies attraction between them. It's the kind of thing that *would* send our internet of the future into a feeding frenzy.
I liked the romantic touches. They were sweet and tasteful and added a lot to the characters. They never dominated the plot either, which is refreshing to see in a romantic SF story. The action scenes were brisk and imaginative. Much of the humour was of the fish-out-of-water variety--always good--and perhaps the only quibble I had with the Glin language was that many of the words came across as a little juvenile, a la Phantom Menace.
I'd definitely recommend Stellarnet Rebel to SF and romantic SF readers, especially those who like clever worldbuilding, cyber tech, and intriguing human-alien relationships. It's an excellent debut novel.(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed this SFR espionage novel. The worldbuilding is very good, the main characters are vivid and vivacious. The build-up was a *little...moreI thoroughly enjoyed this SFR espionage novel. The worldbuilding is very good, the main characters are vivid and vivacious. The build-up was a *little* slow for me--mainly because I didn't much care for the mother--but once Liv (our gutsy heroine and narrator) starts her new undercover job as PA to corporate hotshot Zia, the tension, both dramatic and sexual, really begins to crackle. It never lets up.
This is the sort of story that doesn't really need a villain as such. They are there, but the real enemy here is circumstance. At its heart, Rulebreaker is a tender and poignant love story between two people who absolutely can't end up together, but absolutely MUST. Recommended to all SFR readers, and for those curious about the genre but have yet to give it a whirl. You'll find Ms. Pegau's future world easy to relate to.(less)
The Forever War had languished on my shelf for a couple of years, and I don’t know what I was expecting. An author friend of mine cited it as one of t...moreThe Forever War had languished on my shelf for a couple of years, and I don’t know what I was expecting. An author friend of mine cited it as one of the three best SF books ever written.
It’s certainly up there, I have to say. It’s no Starship Troopers clone; instead, Haldeman really nails the insulation/isolation of a soldier’s tour of duty across light-years of space. Over the course of the story, the time dilation he experiences from constantly travelling at near the speed of light means that while he’s aged only several years, Earth has advanced many thousands of years. He returns to civilization periodically, but things have changed beyond all recognition. He and Marygay, his fellow trooper and the love his life, develop a lasting bond I found extremely moving.
Haldeman’s unfussy prose works so well because there’s so much going on between the words. His world-building is rich and the protagonist, Private Mandella, displays deep humanity underneath what Audie Murphy referred to as “a weary indifference” to war. This is a great book. (less)