Happy Hoo Ha Humans. We celebrate with you of course and not at you. It is the anniversary of things. For too long there have been things and now it is time to celebrate. So lift a mitt and grasp your flute and drown your sorrows for tomorrow is a new day. Yesterday was a new day as well but that is so old news that we hardly want to speak of it. Forge ahead with gusto. Keep your eyes closed for who wants to see a future that contains only bad things? Not you of course. So, let us move on and never speak of this again.
Daughters of the Storm, Kim Wilkins, Del Rey, ISBN 978-0-399-17747-7, $27.00, 434 pgs.
The King is struck down by a mysterious ailment and the Queen, fearing the worst, should send for his eldest daughter but, instead, sends for her son. She’s the newest Queen after all and not the first Queen, who died. Word reaches the eldest daughter anyway, a mighty warrior, who sends word to her four sisters to join her in the capital of Almissia to see what they can do for their father. They arrive to find the Kind ensorcelled, and the Queen quite out of sorts. They banish the Queen’s son, lock up the Queen, and sneak off with the King hoping to find a cure. Of course this is mostly the plan of the eldest, warrior daughter and not any of the others. They all go along because they are not warrior daughters. They drag the poor, mostly unconscious King, across the countryside until a number of things happen, some foreseen, some not, which leads to a final conclusion. Should you be concerned about any of this? Sure, it’s well told albeit a bit of a stretch in places, but who are we to say. Why an advanced species, that’s who! But you care nothing for this. We liked it, we enjoyed the interplay between the characters, although the King kind of sleepwalked through the whole thing. Get it and enjoy it for yourself.
Caliban’s War, James S. A. Corey, Orbit, ISBN 978-0-316-12906-0, $17.00, 595 pgs.
This is 130 pages longer than the last one. That’s about 30%. So, we figure, 30% more better, yes? In this case, yes indeed. We do like this. While it does not capture the true boredom of being in space, it does pretty much capture everything else. We’re still not sure what happened to Klaarg’s squeeze ball the last time we had to maneuver to avoid hitting a sun, for example This one continues the tale of the last one and if you have watched the Expanse on your siffy channel then you already know most of what happens here. We have done both. And we enjoyed both. We watched first and read later. We’d like to report on the opposite experience but can’t. Want to know what happens here? We’ll never tell other than to say it’s the kind of stuff that you should be following rather than the kind of stuff you most likely are. Go out, get it, read it and then get some more. There’s more out there for sure. The best thing is that it kind of captures the human future that has the most likelihood of really happening. Every 10 pages you humans are once more on the brink of self-extinction. This is how you are and it’s nice to see that others also recognize this. Highly recommended. Stop reading this, find Wonder Woman and have her get her friends to put an order in for you. On a final note we actually had to go out and buy our own copy of this. Not the way it’s quite supposed to work, us being a more advanced species and all, and yet, there it is.
Salvation, Peter F. Hamilton, Del Rey, ISBN 978-0-399-17876-4, $30.00, 576 pgs.
Those of you who are fans already will know that this is the beginning of a stand alone trilogy. Which means, we suppose, that it can not easily be placed within the universe of which Hamilton usually writes. We hate to be the ones to tell you this but there is only one. It is huge, so many easily begin to think there must be multiples but if they would just stop and ask directions this kind of thinking would quickly stop. Anycase, this is kind of a murder mystery wrapped in a technological envelope. A bunch of bodies are found in different locations, clearly killed by multiple but different groups and, yet linked in some way. A team is eventually assembled to head out to a far planet upon which a crashed space ship may hold the key. On the ship are a group of disparate individuals who are all, more or less, linked to each other. But one of them is not what they seems, or, rather, none of them are really what they seem but one is not what they are. Confusing yes? Well that’s why this takes more than 500 pages to explain. You’ll enjoy it. We did. We enjoy most of what comes out of Hamilton’s head. If you are already a fan then run out and get yours now. If you are not yet a fan, and you will be, run out and get yours now.
Echoes of Understorey, Thoraiya Dyer, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-8595-6, $16.99, 350 pgs.
This is the second Titan’s Forest novel. We mean to say that it is the second thing set in that place. Well, we are really just repeating here since what do we know about these things. We somehow missed the first one, meaning that we either went totally unaware of it or thought it might not be our cup of tea. It’s possible we thought it was a Titan’s Quest novel and since we did not really care for that game we passed. In any ways we did not pass this time. The whole idea here is that the forest is everything. There is the ground or the under forest, the mid forest and the upper forest. There are layers and paths and ways and entire cultures based on being here in this place rather than there in that place. There are ways to move on trees and between trees and ways to avoid the things that also do that but are bigger and meaner than you. This is also the story of Imeris, sister of a goddess and one who wishes to be the best fighter in Understory. She’s not doing all that well with that when she ends up being framed and banished and cast out then recruited to hunt a monster. Oh yeah, it’s a divine monster to top it all off. This is a chase and a quest and a redemption and a story of choices and places. We enjoyed it muchly and will look for further offerings. We find it hard to place this one in terms of category other than to say that it is well done and should be read by all. That includes you.
Here you are once again, having spent your time in such a way as to make even Stormy Daniels say “More? No thanks.” We do have more but you, and Stormy, will have to wait. For now we’re off to look for Planet 10 as we think it might be tied to some rogue comets and we’re all for that. We’ll be back. Try not to annihilate yourself while we are gone. Then again, it might be the best time since we won’t be around. Either way, we’ll be back. Keep your eyes peeled. Unless they already have been.