Lisa (Harmonybites)'s Reviews > Circuit

Circuit by Melinda M. Snodgrass
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's review
Apr 21, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction, libertarian, fiction, novels
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Prometheus Award Short-List
Read from April 17 to 19, 2013 , read count: 1

This is the first in a trilogy. I liked Melinda Snodgrass's Star Trek pro-novel, Tears of the Singer, centered on Uhura, and her historical fantasy Queen's Gambit Declined centered on King William of the Netherlands and England. Moreover, Circuit was shortlisted for Prometheus Award, so when I saw two of the three books on sale somewhere I bought them--then left them on the shelves for years in hopes of finding the middle book. In vain, so I decided to finally read this one.

I do like the premise: a legal thriller in space--on a Moon Colony no less. It's circa 2045 and Cabot Huntington has been appointed to head the newly created 15th Circuit--with jurisdiction over the American held colonies on the Moon, Mars, and the Asteroids. You can tell Snodgrass has a legal background, and in fact on her website it states she attended New Mexico School of Law and focused on Constitutional law, jurisprudence, and legal history. A law school graduate myself, I appreciated that, even if I'm too jaded to be shocked, shocked at the result of a case involving the commerce clause. Honestly, ever since Wickard v. Filburn (1942) establishing the government could regulate a farmer growing wheat for his own use, it seems to me there's no case no matter how seemingly implausible the courts won't stretch the commerce clause so that the government could do whatever it wants. This is also one of those books (it was published in 1986) that failed to anticipate the demise of the Soviet Union. Goodness knows she's not alone, and in the time between now and the time of the novel one could assume it was revived--or simply that this takes place in an alternate timeline. But I admit that bit irks me a bit, because I simply hate thinking of that regime surviving a minute more in history. Beyond that, Snodgrass' style is undistinguished and I didn't care for her habit of head-hopping.

I do like it though--not enough to buy the middle book used from a third party vender online--but enough I'll keep this book on my shelves and skip to the third and last book.
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