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Pilots Choice: Local Custom / Scout's Progress (Liaden Universe) Paperback – 23 Nov 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 614 pages
  • Publisher: Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc.; 1st MM Pub. Ed edition (23 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892065029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892065025
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 15.1 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,528,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having seen the rapturous reviews for the Liaden books, I finally picked up "Partners in Necessity" with some scepticism and was hooked. "Pilot's Choice" contains two tales of the previous generation of clan Korval and can be read independently of "Partners". The space opera has a stronger romance element this time and the same engaging plots and characterisation. Normally, one or two characters stand out in a series if you're lucky, but with the Liaden books each character demands their equal share of the reader's attention and the "walk-on characters" are better realised than the central ones in many other books. Add in the fascinating Liaden society and the sheer readability of these books and they're ones to re-read again and again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 39 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Explorations of a unique culture 6 Mar 2001
By H.J. Rakestraw - Published on
Format: Paperback
Pilot's Choice is a book in the Liaden Universe series. It takes place prior to all the previously published novels, and focuses on the parents of the main characters in Agent of Change, Conflict of Honors, Carpe Diem (available in the omnibus Partners of Necessity), and Plan B.
I was most struck by the tone of the stories. Local Custom explores the romance between Anne Davis, human linguist, and Er Thom yos'Galen, Liaden pilot and master trader. They love each other deeply, but differences between their culture make it very difficult to come to a happy resolution. The sense of helplessness and frustration is palpable through the story, as both main characters are rocked by actions of others with power over them. While reading this first story I was drawn deeply into the lives of the characters and the hope that they could end up happily together.
Scout's Progress is the story of the independence of Aelliana Caylon. She is a mathematical genius whose independence and grace has been stunted by the cruelty of her brother. A series of circumstances leads her to believe early on that she must leave Liad. Daav yos'Phelium (foster-brother and clan head to Er Thom, introduced in the first story) is longing for a place where he can lay all his clan responsibilities to rest. The two meet up at a Liaden shipyard where Daav's true identity is known but not spoken of. Watching Aelliana gain confidence and Daav wrestle with the frustrations of his position was truly heartbreaking yet exhilerating.
This book has quickly became my favorite in the Liaden Universe series. I believe it would be a good introduction for someone who has not read any of the other books, as it takes place a generation before them. Anyone who likes well written fiction, who likes romance, or who likes character-driven and culturally-focused science fiction would be well pleased by the stories in this book. I'm planning to introduce several of my friends to this volume.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Two great books in one 6 Mar 2001
By Adina Reeve - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful read! I finished it at three o'clock in the morning, then stayed up another hour re-reading "the best bits".
The book is actually two novels under one cover. The first, Local Custom, is about two cultures in conflict, revolving around the parentage and custody of a child of mixed lineage. The second, Scout's Progress, is one woman in conflict with her own culture. Don't look for great space battles or the trappings of action/adventure. This is well-drawn, likeable, *believable* characters interacting within the bounds of equally well-drawn and believable cultures.
I confess that the second novel, Scout's Progress, is my favorite of the two. Aelliana Caylon is a fascinating and complex character. Her mathematical genius is respected, even honored, among the pilots and scouts to whom she teaches "math for survival", yet it does her no good against her abusive brother and the restrictive social conventions that give him power over her. It does provide her with a tantalizing hope--escape by fleeing the planet. But to survive she needs to learn to pilot a ship and operate in cultures not her own. The scouts are masters at piloting--and flouting convention....
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
serious, but great fun 6 Mar 2001
By Melita Kennedy - Published on
Format: Paperback
Pilots Choice is actually two novels about two cousins and their interactions with family, friends, and society. Both novels are also love stories. _Local Custom_ focuses on Er Thom yos'Galan and Anne Davis. One Liaden, one human, they have to overcome cross-cultural misunderstandings. _Scout's Progress_ is about Daav yos'Phelium and Aelliana Caylon. Both are struggling to balance personal happiness with the constraints of society's and families' expectations.
The Liaden novels (others are _Partners in Necessity_ and _Plan B_) are space opera in the best sense. Tightly plotted, interesting characters, neat fights, great fun. I've read and re-read all the books multiple times. They're 'comfort' books for when you're feeling blue or just want to revisit some characters that you wish you could call in a crisis.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The Liaden Universe 26 Jan 2001
By Walt Boyes - Published on
Format: Paperback
Steve Miller and Sharon Lee have been telling each other and the rest of us stories about the strange human race called Liaden, and their interactions with our kind of human for over 20 years now, barring a long hiatus during which a host of publishers had the incredibly ignorant opinion that there were no Miller/Lee fans. The story of the Liadens gets better and more varied and rich with every new book. Buy this book. Read this book. Then read it again. Bet you have to read it at least three times.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Choose this book 16 Mar 2001
By Vicki BROWN - Published on
Format: Paperback
Pilot's Choice, the latest offering from Sharon Lee and Steve Miller embodies all of the qualities one expects from this amazing team: wit, style, action, romance, comedy and characters that will live in your head long after you have finished reading. They have that rare and wonderful ability to balance the reader on a knife edge of tension, drawing the reader into the story so firmly that you can't turn the pages fast enough - and then relieving the tension with a belly laugh. Often while reading along at a breakneck pace I will stumble over a turn of phrase so eloquent, or dialogue so elegant, tidbit so pithy I have to read it over and over a few times to roll it off my tongue and savor it - and then of course take off again. Is Pilot's Choice a work of science fiction? Fantasy? Space Opera? Romance? Comedy of Manners? The answer is of course yes, to all. You owe it to yourself to give this book a try. Or start with Partners in Necessity and then read Pilot's Choice. Either way, you will want to read them all and put them on your comfort book shelf with your Bujold, Cherryh, and Schmitz. It just doesn't get any better than this.
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