Cthulu's Reviews > Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship by Sharon Lee
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's review
Aug 18, 2011

it was amazing
Read in August, 2011

I loved this, and thought it was some of Lee & Miller's best work. They continue to improve, so I'm hoping for many, many more books (long or short) from them. That said, this one wouldn't be entirely clear to someone who hasn't read other Liaden books by them. I think it was very smart strategy to try to make a new on-ramp, especially for YA readers, with Theo's story. Unfortunately, as much as I've liked Theo's stories they weren't sufficiently carefully explained in order to really be the ideal on ramp they might have been. But, as part of the expanding set of Liaden books I love, it is really terrific writing. They get better with each book, in my opinion. In Ghost Ship they tackle a much more complex structure, with interweaved plots, quite well. I think their writing really started to achieve a new level of skill with the precursor books (set thousands of years earlier than the bulk of the Liaden books) Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon. And Ghost Ship's writing is even better. It's a lot more dynamic, less stiff, and with a bit better pruning of unneeded words. So, for fans of Lee & Miller; run, do not walk, to the "buy" button! For newcomers, consider one of their earlier omnibus collections like Pilot's Choice and realize that older writing is a bit rough, but that it is an introduction to a very worthwhile body of work. Overall, I'd say the Liaden books are pretty much some of the best space opera ever written. They have terrific heart, lovable characters, a struggle of truth and competence against foolishness, good plotting, and more; as a result they are some of the few books I read more than once. As the writing has improved each novel has become even more of a joy. Kudos to Lee, Miller for a great piece of fiction. (note: I read an advanced reading copy I bought via their publisher, and bought the h/c too).
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