This is one of my favorites and in a way it's for the reasons that ten percent of the readers dislike this one. It mig...moreField of Dishonor by David Weber
This is one of my favorites and in a way it's for the reasons that ten percent of the readers dislike this one. It might be the fact that David Weber had three sure books assigned to write that led to this one or it might be that he wanted the springboard for the next couple of novels. Whichever way it might be; this one shows up almost as an experiment to see how well Honor stands without the great battle scenes at the end.
The book starts out with a long setup toward the court-martial of Pavel Young, which is a rehash of everything that happened pretty much in the last half of the half of the book prior to this: "A Short Victorious War", which is the part concerning Honor. This is all a setup for all of the political posturing that's going to occur soon.
So as with all his books, which seem like 50% Honor story 33% political posturing 17% war and instruments of war. This one cuts it 50 50 with Honor and politics. There is no great battle between ships at the end and not much talk of the armament.
What there is is an in-depth look at the characters as they are stuck in the mired political landscape. This time we get a clearer picture of the devotion all the people around Honor have for their captain.
This book can be frustrating especially to anyone skimming the pages of the previous three because there have been some political and cultural references to the story building that are peppered through those like some inane meaningless drivel that are now going to be pivotal to things that happen in this book in the world of Honor. Things the reader might have missed.
Questions of motivation and proper decorum within the universe are possibly raised here that might seem to upend everything, but it's not like you haven't been warned; if you've been able to stay awake through those passages.
That aside what hooks me with this novel is the fact that it's the one of all four so far that has moved me to feel something. Halfway through the book when politics interferes with justice and inevitable tragedy is visited on Honor there are several key scenes that struck me with some emotional impact not only garnering feelings for Honor but also those around her who want to protect her. As I've mentioned before it seems that the character building that David Weber does is more invested in the picture we receive from other characters and how they see Honor and I think that holds true for many of the main characters. I believe that might be one thing that throws people off if they are looking for the actions and narrative around the character to give them the full description. The character development is there, but the reader has to work a bit to squeeze it out of the story.
As I've mentioned, what is missing from this one is all that techno-babel that drives the other three and that's because the battle to be won is not a ship board battle. There is a lot of legalize and probably more of Honor than we see in the other books. And this is the build up for the next few novels setting the stage for where Honor will be and why.
This is again good for the SFF fan but not so much the military science fiction as it is the political. Anyone picking this one up as the first read of an Honor Harrington novel who likes space battles, is going to be disappointed. Start with On Baslisk Station.
Funny thing: I ran across this book while looking for a book someone had described to me and could not name the author or title. This is not the book...moreFunny thing: I ran across this book while looking for a book someone had described to me and could not name the author or title. This is not the book they were talking about but it had most of their description.
This is a story of pocket universes created through the application of matrioshka arrays and a man and his pet cat who is an AI Avatar for the larger AI that runs the displays.
In this story the main character is an architect who just happens to be studying the Implied Spaces that were created when these world were designed. (Those spaces create in a sort of accident of design while the architects are setting the structures and features of their normal designs.) His quest for a simple understanding of these spaces and the flora and fauna that have populated them thrust him and his AI avatar into an adventure across the arrays. An adventure that threatens their lives and the continued existence of the arrays.
Though it builds slow. It starts out with a sword and sorcery motif in one of the pocket worlds. It quickly builds up steam and when the mains plot kicks in it grabs your attention.
Tarnished: The St. Croix Chronicles by Karina Cooper
I'm not one to twitter a lot but I got this suggestion from twitter and it looked like an interest...moreTarnished: The St. Croix Chronicles by Karina Cooper
I'm not one to twitter a lot but I got this suggestion from twitter and it looked like an interesting submission into the Steam-punk genre although as we see from the authors own self proclamation it is more Dark and Sexy Paranormal Romance and Historical Urban Fantasy. I was recently reading someone's blog in relation to Steam-punk being more Fantasy than Science Fiction because of the whole taking place in the past and being anachronistic in nature. And I would agree to an extent meaning that don't much like that they said that it was Fantasy Fiction, which just sort of ground me as being redundant since fiction is synonymous with fantasy and a number of other words relating to something that is not real.
Tarnished is definitely a book written for entertainment, but not for the faint of heart. This means both that it is both Dark and Sexy. So be prepared to get the blood pumping. What I enjoyed about this is the Dark because it extends evenly across the good and the bad. The main character Cherry St. Croix has a dark past. She's the daughter of a mad scientist whose parents died in a fire when she was a little girl. Though she stood to inherit she was shuttled off to an orphanage and then ends up working at a circus before her relatives catch up to her. By then she has been introduced to a number of seedy practices one of which is a Opium habit. Even now she uses it to get rid of her constant nightmares. But she's on a stipend until she reaches 21 so she finds herself doing the dirty work of a Collector to augment her fixed income so she can afford her habit.
Though Cherry doesn't sound like the best of characters she will surprise the reader as Karina Cooper makes her both believable and endearing in her struggles through the first half of the novel. There are many dark events ahead of Cherry and she will dig herself deeper into the darkness before she will see light. Rather than romance this book has some steamy sex but the context is rather dark so the bulk of the novel should be considered dark fantasy at best. It's quite well written with some well drawn and flawed characters with of course Cherry being the most Anachronistic thing in the the story; since her entire character defies the conventions of those times.
Still: this is a great story with a strong female protagonist who has quite a few demons under her belt for someone so young. A woman of the world who is still quite naive and will take a few knocks before she's willing to admit that. What is disappointing and what I would agree with others about is that the last portion of the book did not do Ms St. Croix any credit to her abilities. I could possibly chalk this one up to her heavy use of opium. Maybe in the next installment she will get smart and clean herself up.
I'm looking forward to the next installment as she continues her hunt for bounty as a collector.
Great Steam-Punk that's a bit on the darker side than even some of the other steam-punk I've read. Good for SFF fans who look toward the fantasy part.
I came across this book while looking at a request someone had for a book they had once read. Someone may have mentioned th...moreEarthseed by Pamela Sargent
I came across this book while looking at a request someone had for a book they had once read. Someone may have mentioned these novels or I might have just stumbled upon them at the time. Either way I decided since I have read Pamela Sargent's Venus series and enjoyed her style of writing I would give these a try. I have to admit that the first 100 pages almost discouraged me. The books are being marked now as Teen fiction and they certainly read like Young Adult at least for the first half I have no idea what they were listed as back in 1983 first printing.
There is a point when the story finally takes off with some reasonable conflicts and interesting plot twists and it become a book that's hard to put down.
I was expecting a lot more from Pamela Sargent when this started out with Zoheret, a young teen living a sheltered life aboard Ship with her young friends and the struggles of the day were to the tune of; which girl her favorite boy was spending time with. This actually does define Zoheret from the beginning and there is a lot of time spent showing us how shallow she can be. Aboard ship everyone is somewhat healthy but for some reason some of the people born aboard have defects. They all seem to have been born through some sort of cloning or test tube type of process and the Ship acts as their single parent. Zoheret is Ships favorite and the other children aboard are pretty normal children some not so nice while making fun of the others.
The premise of this story is that they are aboard this ship heading for a planet they will colonize. It doesn't take much imagination to see that they are not nearly ready to do this and that something has to happen soon or they might never be ready. Several of the group seem aware of this and are asking Ship to let them go into a part of the ship that is like a massive garden that can sometimes be dangerous. They want to go in and have Ship shut down all the safety's so they can begin to learn how to survive.
At this point it begins to sound a lot like the Lord of the Flies when things start to go all wrong in what has been termed a competition. People get hurt but no one dies and the Ship seems blase about the whole thing and though sometimes Zoheret can have insightful thoughts she mostly is stuck in teen angst about finding a boyfriend.
About halfway through the book Pamela Sargent finally turns on the style I'm more used to from her and we begin to see some conflict. Something is not quite right with Ship and while Ship sends them out for more training in the wilderness region of the ship 'she' begins to act strangely even as the children begin their devolution to Lord of the Flies territory. The teens soon discover that they are not alone aboard Ship and that there is not just one other set of settlers here there are two and both could be very dangerous to them and even to the continued integrity of the ship.
And now what first sounded like a light version of Lord of the Flies, begins to start darkening until we have several moral questions being examined while the stakes get higher and people begin to die. The decisions the characters have to make become real and relevant and they become much more difficult for some of them. We finally begin to see Zoheret growing to a more reasonable level of maturity as she begins to realize she can't trust the one who has been her mother, protector and constant companion throughout her life and their journey.
Once again Pamela Sargent delivers her usual insightful and well crafted SFF that will capture most fans as long as they suffer through the first part of world building.