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Crystal Soldier (The Great Migration Duology, #1; Liaden Universe, #1)
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Liaden Universe > July 2017 - Reader Pick - Crystal Soldier

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message 1: by Betsy (last edited Jun 30, 2017 04:29PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Betsy | 702 comments Mod
Our Reader Pick for July 2017 is Crystal Soldier by Sharon Lee.

Centuries in the past, mankind fought a seemingly unbeatable adversary from sector to sector across the Spiral Arm until the war ground to a standstill and the Enemy withdrew. Believing that they had won, the citizens of the galaxy rebuilt. The Inner Worlds, which had escaped the worst of the war's ravages, became even more insular, while the Rim worlds adopted a free and easy way with law and order. Now, hundreds of years after their withdrawal, the Enemy is back - and this time they'll be satisfied with nothing less than the extinction of the galaxy.

By internal chronology, this is the first in the vast series of the Liaden Universe.

Please use this thread to post questions, comments, and reviews.


message 2: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 3 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 919 comments Mod
I have read this one several times. While it is the first counting by internal time, it was far from the first published. It gives a heckuva lot of interesting background to the rest of the Liaden Universe books.

I plan to reread the two Crystal books this month.


Betsy | 702 comments Mod
I read this one fairly recently. Although it was not my favorite Liaden, I did enjoy it. I agree with Teresa it provides useful background to the rest of the series. Here is my review.


message 4: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 3 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 919 comments Mod
Found it! I knew I had both the hardback and the ebook but my kindle wasn't finding it when I searched. It is part of the omnibus The Crystal Variation, which has both Crystal books plus Balance of Trade. Balance of Trade goes in the queue to be reread too!


message 5: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 3 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 919 comments Mod
I don't remember noticing this tidbit before. In chapter 9 Jela and Cantra go to a bar named Pilot's Choice. That was the name of an omnibus in the series, and in multiple instances in the series one character has said it to another, indicating of course that a decision should be made by the pilot.

Sharing because I thought this was cool, and it isn't a spoiler. The other oooooooo parts I've hit in my reread would have been spoilers or too hard to explain.


Audrey | 111 comments Yay! I have been meaning to read this one again. I dusted off my copy (hardback, last read about a dozen years ago). Now up to Chapter 8, Cantra and Jela's first meeting.


message 7: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 3 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 919 comments Mod
Another non spoiler thing I found interesting was mention of a relative named Syl Vor, and later in Crystal Dragon a mention of Sae Zar. It should be expected that family names are recycled, although I got the impression over the series that nobody named kids after Cantra and Jela. It's cool that yos Phelium means courier pilot. I wonder what yos Galan means.


message 8: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (last edited Jul 05, 2017 05:47AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 919 comments Mod
Ooooooooo in Crystal Dragon, chapter 36, I found a ref to the Pern books! "The longest sustained transition ... was Moreta's Flight, which had been the result of ...." see Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern by Anne McCaffrey


message 9: by Leonie (new) - added it

Leonie (LeonieRogers) | 298 comments This is the first Liaden book I've read. So far I'm enjoying it. I like the tree.


message 10: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 3 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 919 comments Mod
The tree is awesome. It is a minor character in many of the books, and at least mentioned in (all???) the rest. In most of the books it is huge. In I Dare we meet one of its offspring.


message 11: by Leonie (new) - added it

Leonie (LeonieRogers) | 298 comments Teresa wrote: "The tree is awesome. It is a minor character in many of the books, and at least mentioned in (all???) the rest. In most of the books it is huge. In I Dare we meet one of its offspring."

And it keeps imaging dragons. I'm a sucker for dragons!


Betsy | 702 comments Mod
I also love the tree. I've always been bothered by the assumption that vegetable matter is not sentient and is therefore not quite alive. One of the things I enjoyed about the Well World series was the fact that some of the species on the Well World were plants. I haven't read Hyperion, but it's on my TBR list. I recently read The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World and loved it.


message 13: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 3 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 919 comments Mod
I remember the Well World series! They had some very interesting aliens. One of the characters in Diane Duane's Young Wizards series is an ambulatory tree or bush type being, appearing in more than one of the books. I distinctly recall a shorter work where he/she/it visited at Christmas and enjoyed being decorated for the holiday, but don't remember offhand which of the novel length stories involved that character.


message 14: by Leonie (new) - added it

Leonie (LeonieRogers) | 298 comments So now I've moved on to the next book :) Crystal Dragon. I'm intrigued, I like the tree, but I'm not 100% certain that it'll be one of my favourite series. I can see it growing on me, but we'll see.

I sort of wished there was more tree in it.


Natalie | 5 comments This was my first Liaden book. It was pretty good. I felt like maybe I was missing things without the context of previous books, but the story came somewhat together towards the end. I agree that the sentient tree (aka "vegetable", ha!) was interesting. I would like to know more about the different types of humans, their abilities, and how they interact with each other. Also, I assume there is an interesting story behind how the slaves are made, and why they are so dehumanized relative to others that also seem to have their genetics determined. Is this kind of info in other books? Would you all generally recommend this series?


message 16: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 3 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 919 comments Mod
I love the series, but the Crystal books aren't my favorites. If you like action, try Agent of Change which is a free ebook and included in omnibus Agent Gambit. If you like romance, Scout's Progress or an omnibus containing it is a good start. For YA start with Fledgling or Balance of Trade. There are other good starting points too.


Betsy | 702 comments Mod
I recommend the series, but I agree with Teresa, it varies from book to book. Not just the interest factor, but the focus and flavor. Some of them are almost romances, others are mostly action and adventure, others are very political. I like the variety generally, but others may not.


Audrey | 111 comments I have been reading this series for many years. At this point, I have read all the books and wanted to reread so this gave me the little push. I finished Crystal Soldier and just started Crystal Dragon. I am picking up on things I didn't remember from way back when, including how very active the Tree was.


Natalie | 5 comments Thanks, I really appreciate your suggestions.

Teresa wrote: "I love the series, but the Crystal books aren't my favorites. If you like action, try Agent of Change which is a free ebook and included in omnibus Agent Gambit. If you like romance, Scout's Progre..."


message 20: by Leonie (new) - added it

Leonie (LeonieRogers) | 298 comments And now I've finished Crystal Dragon too :)

I shall read more of this Universe!


Audrey | 111 comments I just finished Crystal Dragon as well.

The ship "Spiral Dance" is featured in the newest books of this series, and I had been trying to remember where I read about it before. Now I remember what happened and understand how it appeared where it did. I also liked the discovery of pi and its unusual use.


Richard | 9 comments Thanks for yet another fine book. I just finished (I'm a little behind yes). The Kindle edition I have goes right into Crystal Dragon - I'm assuming it continues the adventures of Jela, Cantra, and the tree.


message 23: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 3 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 919 comments Mod
Crystal Dragon continues the story, although it starts with a new character somewhere else which is a bit confusing. If your edition is Crystal Variation, then it also has a third book that is Balance of Trade which does not have Cantra or Jela in it.


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