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Lethal Heritage by Michael A. Stackpole
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's review
Apr 03, 11

it was amazing

Normally I skip past the shelf in the bookstore where all of the RPG tie-in books live: you know, the law firm of "Salvatore, Hickman & Weis". There was a time in my life when I read all of those books, and enjoyed a great many of them, but I've never felt a compelling need to swim in those waters again. That said, every once in a while you will find a story that is truly well done. One series that stuck with me from my childhood was the "Blood of Kerensky" series by Michael Stackpole. It's a favorite I come back to every couple of years.

Stackpole was a stalwart of the RPG writer scene before becoming a novel writer, having worked for a time at Flying Buffalo/FASA (which is how I originally became acquainted with him). The "Blood of Kerensky" books are set in the Battletech universe which, for those of you who don't know, is a post-diaspora-to-the-stars, future war concept with different political factions duking it out in giant robots called "Mechs". It's ground that's been well traveled in Japanese Anime but here it's given a western, military sci-fi flavor.

Stackpole, to his credit, plays this material straight, keeping it action forward with strong but simple characters. You don't care that it's a bunch of guys in robot suits because after a short while you are interested in their personal lives, their successes, failures and relationships.

A few related books followed the original trilogy but they never quite live up to the level of Stackpole's writing here. I wish he had explored this world a bit more fully, because he was very well suited to it.
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