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Cobra Guardian: Cobra War Book ll Hardcover – 4 Jan 2011

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About the Author

Timothy Zahn is a Hugo Award-winner, and author of the "New York Times" best seller "Heir to the Empire." Born in Chicago, he earned a B.S. in physics from Michigan State University and an M.S. in physics from the University of Illinois. He sold his first story to "Analog" in 1978, and immediately attracted attention as a new writer of science fiction based on real, cutting-edge science. Baen recently published his popular Cobra trilogy in one volume. His other popular series include the "Conqueror" and "Dragonback" novels. Zahn has written over twenty novels.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 18 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Best so far in the series - enjoyable military science fiction 12 Aug. 2012
By K. Sozaeva - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Book Info: Genre: Military Science-fiction Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: I received the final book in this trilogy (The Cobra War Trilogy) in exchange for an honest review from Amazon Vine; I am happy to provide an honest review of this second book in the trilogy -which I purchased for myself - as well.

Synopsis/Back cover copy: Jasmine Moreau Broom, descendant of a now-legendary family of Cobra warriors, was on a secret mission to the planet Qasama, a world hostile both to the alien Troft and the human-colonized Cobra worlds. But she had hardly arrived before Troft starships descended in force to seize control of the planet. After escaping on a starship, she hoped to get help from other Cobra worlds. What she had not expected was that Troft forces had invaded the Cobra worlds as well.

Still, matters are not hopeless. The Troft are not a monolithic society, but are divided into tribe-like demesnes. One demesne has initiated hostilities, but other demesnes are doubtful of the wisdom of the war, and if the humans can win a decisive battle against the invaders, the Troft might side with them against the belligerent Troft faction.

And the key to such a victory may lie with a political figure on one of the beleaguered Cobra worlds. He has a secret that might turn the tide - if Cobra Lorne Broom can manage to smuggle him and his assistant off a planet occupied by the Troft invaders.

My Thoughts: This book gives us events from multiple omniscient viewpoints, rather than remaining with just the main one - with an occasional foray into a secondary viewpoint for a short period - this one spreads the action among Jin's children back in the Cobra worlds, during approximately the same time period as the latter part of the previous book. I was appalled, but not really surprised, by the common city citizens' opinions regarding Cobras, and the willingness of many of them to betray the Cobras to save their own worthless skins.

I should point out that so far, the first two books of this trilogy have taken place over about a three-week period, whereas the first trilogy took place over decades. I think this also shows a change in thinking between the 1980s - when a more epic approach was taken with these things - and modern-day thinking, which is more of a detail-oriented, character-driven plotting.

I think this one is my favorite so far. I really liked the Caelian wilderness scenes, and the Cobras from Caelian are just crazy enough to be fun. There was also a scene with a drone and a truck that actually surprised a laugh out of me - forgive me for the vagueness, but telling you more would constitute a spoiler; just see if you can notice it.

Highly recommended for fans of military science fiction (and despite what the critics say, this is not a space opera, although it is close). Be sure to check out this terrifically fun series of books!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Nice reading, let's wait for the final chapter 12 Sept. 2011
By Dracomilan - Published on
I've been an avid Zahn reader since the Heir of the Empire, and I've always appreciated his complex, combat oriented plots. I've been waiting for years for a follow up to his Cobra masterwork, and I'm a little disappointed with this book. It is exciting to read and funny as ever, but this time the tactics do not make any sense.

Ok, so nobody in the entire Cobra worlds ever thought about building an anti-tank rocket, an anti-air weapon system or a fighter plane. But that the crazy, obsessed Qasamans didn't is not so easily understandable (they've buillt choppers, how do they think to keep them in the sky without air superiority?). And that the Trofts, the aliens who have been defeated by Cobras 100 years ago, come back without these basic weapon systems is really, really difficult to understand (a single CAP would have ended the previous book in a much different way).

Maybe all these strange things have solid 'reasons why' which will be explained in book three, but for now they make the military part of the book feel 'fake' - something I'm not used to when I'm reading Zahn books.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Caelian is a world I can drop off my list to visit...! 15 Feb. 2012
By Kathy Davie - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Second in the Cobra Wars and fifth in the combined The Cobra Trilogy (Books 1-3 of the first Cobra series military science-fiction series focused on an enhanced group of warriors known as the Cobras. The focus here is on the Moreau-Broom family of Cobra warriors.

My Take
Whew, Zahn has done it again! Cobra Guardian drops you into a desperate situation only to battle its way back to a scrap of hope. All the while, your heart is hammering and you are on the edge of your seat.

If you enjoy lots of action and battle tactics with the underdog battling it out...the entire Cobra series is for you. Zahn is an amazing, never boring writer!

It's that American-style can-do attitude with all the cynicism and distrust of politicians that somehow merges to an alliance with former enemies.

I still don't understand how Nissa and Lorne got a message to pick up Treakness when they were heading to the central government buildings and only happened upon Treakness' building when they were cut off in the Troft attack.

Zahn leaves us with controversies that could result in charges of treason. Of course, that doesn't hold back our intrepid Cobras as they blast off to an alien, possibly enemy-held planet to take it back, explore Isis, and teach the Tlossies not to mess with humans...!

The Story
Called back to Capitalia, Cobra Lorne Broom is ordered by Governor-General Chintawa to locate his mother, Cobra Jin Moreau Broom, for an important event in the city. A move that is beyond difficult as his mother is involved in a highly clandestine mission on Qasama. An enemy planet.

Besides why should any Broom help the government after their betrayal of the Cobras and the Broom family? Unfortunately, the question of how to deal with this problem becomes moot when the Troft invade all the Cobra Worlds. It's a planet-wide lockdown on each of the five worlds. But as the Ts discover, it's hard to keep a good Cobra Lorne escapes Aventine with the doctor and his new invention. As Paul Broom and his fellow Cobras take down their local invaders thanks to unexpected allies and the peeks Lorne and Jin managed inside Troft craft.

The Characters
Lorne Moreau Broom is one of Jin Moreau-Broom's sons and a Cobra. Corwin and Thena Moreau are Lorne's great-uncle and aunt

The Qasaman ship includes:
Jasmine "Jim" Moreau Broom is the first woman Cobra. Djinnis Ghofl Khatir who turns out to be an ambassador; Carsh Zoshak; and, Siraj Akim--the Troft counter to the Cobra warrior. Rashida Vil is the pilot.

Caelian is a truly challenging planet for humanity. Anything with a trace of organic, carbon-bearing material is attacked by microscopic spores which in turn attract bigger and bigger beasties. Both flora and fauna. Nothing is safe. One of the first things any visitor or homesteader must do is shave their heads.

Her husband Paul Broom is also a Cobra; he and their daughter Jody are currently at Stronghold on Caelian trying to survive the planet's flora and fauna. Geoff Boulton and Freylan Sonderby are part of Jody's science team investigating the plant and animal life of the planet. Governor Rom Uy is based at Stronghold with his wife Elssa; their son Harli is also a Cobra. Other Cobras on Caelian include Kemp, Matigo, Olwen, Fourdalay, Tracker, and others.

The Aventine group includes:
Senior Governor Tomo Treakness, an Aventine politician, is anti-Cobra and behind the move to reduce Cobra budgeting. Governor Ellen Hoffman, another Aventine politician, is pro-Cobra. Nissa Gendreves is the secondary assistant to Governor-General Chintawa on Aventine. Poole is Treakness' assistant. Koshevski extorts aid from Lorne to move his family from an unprotected area of Capitalia into one that is safe in return for his guiding Lorne and his small party to the spaceport where a Tlossie ship is waiting.

The Tlossie ship party consists of:
Ingidi-inhiliziyo, a.k.a., Warrior, is the second heir of the Tlos'khin'fahi and leading the expedition coming to Aventine to seek Cobra allies. Dr. Glas Croi, in conjunction with Warrior, has created a revolutionary new machine--Isis. And Lorne and Nissa.
Troft is a rather generic term for a number of different demesnes--think of it as Troft equaling Earthling and a demesne equaling a country. The Tlossies are Troft on the side of the Cobra Worlds. The Drim'hco'plai are the invaders.

The Cover
Yup, it's a Baen cover all right. Mostly oranges and greens as one space ship hovers over another that's on fire as three Cobra warriors look on .

The title could refer to Jin Moreau Broom as the Cobra Guardian as it's her efforts amongst the Qasama that may well save the Cobra Worlds.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By GODZILLA1 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the second of Zahn's new series and really fleshes out the characters previously introduced. Looking forward to the last volume due out in August. I frequently go back to his original COBRA trilogy as it is a fantastic series which started it all.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Great Story! 10 Feb. 2013
By Karl Shook - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many times the second story of a trilogy isn't very good. It's not the case here. Timothy Zahn has written a ripping good yarn. He starts out with Lorne Broom fighting a war against the alien Troffts on one of the Cobra Worlds, while his father, Paul, and sister, Jody are fighting the same enemy on another world. Zahn then weaves the story so the trio and mother, Jin, join forces on the frontier world Paul and Jody were on along with many Cobras and a quartet of humans from a former enemy world to defeat the aliens in an exciting battle. It's Tim Zahn at his best.
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