on 25 July 2015
What this smart, enjoyable space opera manages to do is give a real slice of the gaps opening up in humanity when the diaspora are now scattered across planets. Theo is more conscious of this than most as she has a Liaden, ex-pilot for a father and a high-ranking academic mother from the risk-averse planet of Delgado, where she was brought up and in constant trouble for her clumsy, apparently reckless behaviour. She has negotiated her tricky upbringing, and successfully trained as a pilot.
Now she is confronted with making her own way in the world, but rapidly is sucked into the machinations of her father’s family whose sudden banishment from one planet and resettlement on another also impacts on her. Though she has other concerns… like the fact that an Old Technology fully sentient warship has imprinted her has part of its crew and is stalking her.
Lee and Miller plunge you into the heart of the story with the minimum of exposition and allow their characters to do the talking for them – it’s a far harder trick than they make it look. Witness all the promising science fiction tales silted up with pages and pages of description. You won’t be getting that with Lee and Miller.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty going on to keep the little grey cells ticking over though. While there is a fair amount of humour in the tussles between Theo and Bechimo, the sentient ship, Theo is also scaldingly conscious she is dealing with a scarily dangerous entity capable of creating havoc. Apart from anything else, this ghost ship appears to have mastered the knack of moving outside the recognised routes and jump waypoints…
Any grizzles? Nope. I’m really enjoying this series and think it should be far better known than it is. Anyone who enjoys Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan series is likely to find the Liaden Universe world an engrossing read. Baen have now thoughtfully released the earlier novels in omnibus editions – and once I’ve completed Theo Waitley’s journey to date, I’m going to hunt these down. This world is addictive.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 August 2012
Why did I give this book only 3 stars? Because I feel that the authors are abandoning their loyal fans for mere money. OK, everyone has to earn a dollar but . . .
As ever a well written story with nice twists in it. But in this case there seem to be three threads. I guess that one of these leads to a new book - that's OK, though there is plenty of other scope for that. Another starts then ends, with something of a gap in the middle. The last ends in a cliff hanger, will the hero survive!?
Yet the body of the book is stuffed with pages of detail that got, frankly, boring and over which I found myself skipping, without losing the plot (what there was of one) due to this.
Two of my favourite authors are in danger of getting themselves relegated to the, "I'll buy it when it's available second hand," category. They have given over to the marketing machine tactics that, I feel, are an insult to their fans. I do not need serials to keep my loyalty, rather the reverse, I want a good tale, with invention and surprise, written in good English that resolves itself within the same covers (yet leaves me wanting more).
These authors are in the same class as Anne McCafferey - take her lead folks, that lady did not need such techniques to maintain a huge fan base!