Liviu's Reviews > Fire Season

Fire Season by David Weber
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's review
Jun 26, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: 2012_release_read, read_2012, genre-sf
Read from June 26 to August 02, 2012

A disappointing sequel to A Beautiful Friendship; three main reasons why - most important there is little trace of David Weber's writing here as opposed to the first book which was all Weber; it may be an early Honorverse, set on Sphinx and featuring Stephanie but it does not matter if the writing magic is not there; second and related to this, the book morphs into pretty much standard YA fare and lacks the suspense and the intrigue of the first volume; third nothing much happens by and large

Overall a 2 1/2 star book and I hope the next installment will have much more Weber as otherwise I predict a massive drop off in interest across the board after the success of the A Beautiful Friendship
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Kris (new) - added it

Kris How on earth can you review a book that hasn't been released yet...

Vito Baen (the publisher) often releases an early ebook version sometimes several months in advance of the book release...especially for their bigger authors like Mr. Weber. The Electronic Advanced Reader Copy (EARC) is usually not completely finished being edited but the story is set.
Also the final fully edited ebook version is usually available for purchase by the 15th of the month before the official paper release date.

message 3: by Liviu (last edited Sep 21, 2012 07:18PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Liviu Yes that's true - in this case I read the earc a while ago, while the final ebook has been released a few days ago, with the hc to follow soon

One point to mention is that Baen is by and large the only publisher that has been offering this chance to the public for quite a few years now (first two earcs released same day and bought by me same day too some 7-8 years ago were At All Costs and Ghost and i still remember my incredulity that the hugely awaited At All Costs was available months earlier than even if you got the serialized Webscription), but as I review books for FBC, I receive occasionally advance review copies from other publishers too..

Launian Seriously... you're giving a YA book a bad review because it's a YA book? What did you expect? Thriller? Of course it's a YA book, that's exactly what David intended when he brought Jane to help him. And, as for it not having enough of David's writting, well, I concede that, but seeing how he has so many other books on the works (Next one after ART and the next one on Torch, for example), I can't say I disagree with the decision.

I really don't see what you could possibly be refering to by "the suspense and the intrigue of the previous book". If anything, the second part of ABF is pretty dull: the same story from The Stray told over again. Also, how can you say "nothing much happens", when you see such monumental changes on Stephanie's life and the relationship between treecats and humans? Just to name a few:

(I'm writting some spoilers here, so if you haven't read the book, I suggest you skip this)

First, the fact that Stephanie's leaving behind her her childhood prejudices towards everyone her own age, and the changes that comes with that. Second, the realization that people of the oposite gender can be interesting for reasons besides the intelectual ones (wich is a big deal on any YA book, like it or not). Third, the forming of more bonds between treecats and humans, born from the innate impulse of both species to help others, no matter how they're shapped, and the feel of comunity that's born from it. And finally, the fact that we pretty much saw how the idea for the Treecat Rights Bill was born, even if none of them said so in so many words (On the story of Princess Adriane and Dianchect, it's said Stephanie was the leading force behind the initial form of the bill, before the ammendment after said story).

So yeah, there weren't any confrontations between good and evil, but precisely because of that it's a great piece of YA literature. First, it deals with the ecological side of the story, and teaches kids who might read it how important it is to take care of the enviroment, specially when you're on terrain where a fire might start. And second, it deals with the more important question of just how entitled humans are to do as we please in an alien enviroment (or our own) when we have to share it with other species. Here, the other group is the treecats, but it's not such a big intelectual leap to think of the same situation between two groups of human beings, and to question ourselves where we'd stand if the other groups wasn't a bunch of furry, lovable arboreals.

message 5: by Liviu (last edited Oct 12, 2012 09:21PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Liviu I find it hard to take YA seriously and this book is a perfect example of why - could not stop rolling my eyes when that moment with Stephanie and the good looking boy and the tingles came and the book just went down from there; for some reason I loved ABF (guess nostalgia for the original story and also being written by DW which this one is patently not).

There is a reason i avoid YA and i plan to avoid this series from now on, so sorry for that but our tastes may be a bit divergent

Launian Ok, there's a difference between not liking a certain type of books (YA on this case), and saying a book is bad because it's from a type of literature you don't like.

Good looking boys and tingles and all that crap are part of YA books. Yeah, I don't like it much myself either, but that's what you gotta do when you write for teens, because (surprise surprise!) that's how most teenagers get infatuated, however stupid it is. And, since the main story is not about romantic relationships, why shouldn't you go with the easy, quick cliché rather than the long, hard one? Even so, I'd have this kind of romance over Twilight crap every day of the week, you know? After all, it's a whole lot more believable.

My point is, saying a book is bad because you don't like it is insane, and specially trashing a book for being what it's supposed to be. I hate The Godfather, and I've never been able to go through Gladiator or The Exorcist. But I'm not going to say they're bad movies just because I don't like them. It's just a matter of backing up your opinions with facts, or else calling them gut reactions from the get-go, because new readers may get confused when they read it's "standard YA fare", when it's nothing like that.

message 7: by Ed (new)

Ed [Redacted] They ARE bad movies for you. There's nothing wrong with giving your personal opinion in your review, that's kind of the point.

Liviu as a matter of fact, I agree with Launian in general so you won't see me one-starring UF trash after UF trash, but there are occasional books from genres I detest like UF or think juvenile like YA that I have some reason to try (see the first Deborah harkness book for example); this one came after I liked ABF and I maybe expected too much; as mentioned no more from the series for me unless I have a compelling reason

Launian Just a question: what's UF exactlly? I've never been one to pay much attention to classifications.

Also, the ARC of Shadow of Freedom's out for 15 books at Baen Books, if you happen to be reading the "main" series. Give it a try, it's pretty interesting. And it's one hell of a cliff-hanger.

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