Review: Legionnaire

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Posted on : 9/19/2017 10:49:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , , , ,

Legionnaire Legionnaire by Jason Anspach
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a 3 star review.

I originally bought this book because Nick Cole is a co-author. I've read a few of his other books and think he has some potential.

Legionnaire was a half step backwards. The first 2/3s of the book is a straightforward MILsf adventure. Fun to read. Several engaging characters. A relatable plot.

But there isn't any purpose to the adventure. We join the story in mid-plot. Our heroes are on a mission to meet leaders on an alien planet to obtain support for the planet's "senator" in the galactic assembly. And they get attacked.

Everything that follows is a series of errors resulting from overconfident officers and an ill-informed military. Read the story as it is worth the trip.

The book really slows down during the last 1/3rd of the book as the authors cram in a separate MILsf adventure story that illuminates one of the better officers from the first section. But it doesn't really do much to further the primary plot. The entire thing sort of dwindles down to nothing by the last page.

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Review: All Good Things

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Posted on : 9/19/2017 10:47:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

All Good Things All Good Things by Emma Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a solid 4-star review.

The concluding book in the series was a very good conclusion that almost stuck the landing. While I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the series, the conclusion really failed to fill out the rest of the world building. In fact, it sort of undermined it.

Early in the series, we were treated to a comparison between late 19th century-ish England and a modern 21st-century world. The 19th-century version is dominated by fae and magic that maintains a rigid social order that is controlled by men. Our protagonist is a young woman who ran away to the parallel world is supposed to be non-magical and it largely is. It has also benefitted from the progress of over a century's worth of social advances.

As the tale unfolds, we have humans, the fae, sorcerers, and an elemental court with interests that are in turns competing and parallel. By the end, our young protagonist has successfully turned these groups and the world upside down. Sort of like a female version Captain Kirk that destroys social conventions and then sails away to leave the upended society to sort things out for themselves.

The entire series is both fun and thought provoking.

The last book barely misses as the entire creation of these split interests....or worlds to reference the title....is blamed on "the patriarchy". There is no explanation of why "the patriarchy" established the 19th-century magical society. There is no exploration of any potential advantages to that arrangement.

It's a modest bit of niggling, but it took a bit away from the final book to have one of the central themes of the series remain unexamined in the ultimate entry.

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