David's Reviews > Princess Ryan's Star Marines: Save the Princess!

Princess Ryan's Star Marines by Mark G. McLaughlin
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's review
Aug 23, 2013

really liked it

This quality space opera sneaks in a whole lot of humor and attempts to be a parody without seeming like a parody. What I mean is that this is more a nod at something like Star Wars than an out and out parody like Spaceballs.

There are action scenes that are reminiscent of David Weber or John Ringo's writing. An alternate title could have been "Suppose They Gave a War, but nobody really cared?"

Viceroy Yamaguchi tries to provoke a war by sneak attacking an Imperial Governor's ship. His plan is to capture a governor, interrogate and brainwash him. If that fails, he just wants to provoke a war between the Imperial Regime and the Republic. However, instead, he manages to kidnap Princess Ryan, an heir to the throne that nobody really seems to care about, and her Nanny, a Scripture quoting old bird. This STILL isn't enough to provoke an all out war, but what he doesn't know is that Princess Ryan is a member of an auxiliary group of Star Marines, that don't take kindly to one of their own being kidnapped.

Meanwhile, the author manages to mock bureaucracy as both sides really do their best to avoid going to war while the Star Marines begin to stage a rescue operation. Eventually, they decide to SORT of fight, with Yamaguchi being given some "unofficial" assistance, and the Queens' advisor taking command of a fleet. All of this, with the rescue operation going on.

The best part of this novel was the inside jokes that the author wanted us to visualize. Starting a shuttle with a set of keys? Hand-me-done armor and rocket packs that don't work half the time? The names of the ships and the manufacturers names. The subtle nods to Hollywood actors and films. (John Wayne in space? riding a reptile?)

About the time that the reader begins to think the author is taking himself too seriously, a jetpack fails, or a humorous character name brings a smile, or someone throws a super powerful flare into an oxygen rich environment. The author wants us to smile along with him. It is as if he is nudging us with his elbow and winking and saying "Do you get it?" and most of the time I think I do.

In fact, the major flaw, if there really is any, is that the author could not decide whether he was writing a straight military space opera or a parody. If this was written straight it might not have succeeded. The short chapters and cutting back and forth works to a certain extent, but I would have preferred for him to stick with the action a bit longer before making the cut.

Still, this one was a lot of fun to read. I enjoyed it, the humor kept me interested whenever I would get bogged down with the political manuevering. It was worth the time I invested in it.


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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 23, 2013 – Shelved
August 23, 2013 – Finished Reading

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