TStarnes Book reviews

Combat Doctor Review

Combat Doctor: Life and Death Stories from Kandahar's Military Hospital - Marc Dauphin

This is essentially Dauphin’s thoughts on the war told in a series of events and anecdotes. There are some scenes that you can’t help but be affected by, such as the story near the beginning of the book about the guy trying to save his kids arm. As far as it being a glimpse into the world of the military field hospital, the book is brutally honest about what really happens to soldiers.


While the events can be moving the book as a whole is pretty inaccessible. It is jargon filled and some paragraphs feel more like a jumbling of letters then actual speech. I know the military loves its acronyms but when writing for a general audience the author should try and pull back on that a little bit. This book felt more like listening to the raw tapes of a military doctor talking then an edited work. There is no pacing in the stories and as a whole the book feels like it jumps all over the place.


This is one of those cases where a ghost writer should have stepped in and worked with Dauphin. In the hands of a skilled writer this could have been a riveting and emotional tale but as it is the book feels like an amateurish attempt at a memoir.

Source: http://homeofreading.com/combat-doctor

Ancillary Justice Review

Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie

I read a lot of science fiction and this book had some interesting stuff in it that I haven’t seen much in other sci-fi. The way Leckie has dealt with artificial intelligence and how one system can see and interact through multiple vantage points is fascinating. When I first saw how this book was going to play out I thought jumping from one view point to another, yet staying with the same character in those different points of view, would be confusing (just writing that sentence was a bit confusing). What surprises me is how well Leckie pulls it off and how it doesn’t come off as confusing at all. That isn’t to say it feels natural to read those sections, something feels a bit off as you get into the mindset of an Artificial intelligence, but I think that was part of the point.

On that I also really enjoyed how she wrote a fully sentient and semi-emotional Artificial Intelligence. It did not feel like Leckie just took human characterization and tagged it as being an AI. The character of Breq felt very unique and well thought out. Breq’s personality felt similar enough that you could relate and sympathize yet different enough that I bought the character as an advanced AI. The other stand out character was Anaader Mianaai, the Lord of the Radch. I don’t want to give anything away, but the internal conflict within the antagonist being used as a plot point was interesting. I really wanted to learn more about what was happening with Mianaai, so much so that I was not pleased when the book shifted away from that point back to present day Breq’s journey.

The one down side I had with the book is something I have been seeing more and more, well two things actually. The first is the shifting time line, from present day to flashback. I don’t mean just having a flashback, but when a quarter to half the book is flashback and the story jumps from one to the other multiple times. It might be that I just prefer a more liner story but this does bother me some. The other, and I find it usually goes hand in hand with the shifting time line, is when the author doesn’t make it clear what the point of the story is for large portions of the book. It wasn’t until I was almost half way done reading the book that I knew what Breq was doing or what it’s goals were. Because of this I never really latched on to the “current time” Breq. I found myself connecting more with the flashback version of the character whose actions and intent were actually clear. To be fair after the half-way point in the book those two versions catch up to each other and merge, but I don’t like waiting half the book for that to happen. I know authors like to get clever with their structure so the book is “interesting” but this format has been done to death over the last few years and I would be happy if it went away.

This is a really great sci-fi read and if you can handle the switching viewpoints it really is very inventive and feels new.

Source: http://homeofreading.com/ancillary-justice

The Crow: Curare

The Crow: Curare - Antoine Dode, James O'Barr

A very young girl was murdered, not just murdered, but every imaginable crime and a few unimaginable ones were also carried out on her. All of this happens in the first few pages and it is a downward spiral from here. The main character is the police detective given the case to solve and how his single minded focus on this case drives him to drink, to lose his family, to scare his children and finally to the point of madness where a crow and a ghost of a girl are almost normal to him.


Never before in my life have I been grateful that an artist’s style was ‘imprecise.’ Had this have been drawn by someone like Ribic or Alphona I think I would have been sick, or more likely they would have gone mad trying to draw it. The concepts that this covers are so twisted and horrible that trying to put it onto paper in an anatomically correct, precise fashion would utterly mess with your mind. It actually shows you very little, nothing in fact, of the heinous crimes that it describes, but listening to the coroner describing the crimes while all you can see is a small child’s foot on a slab is actually more disturbing that being shown it.


The best way I can describe this book is that anyone who has read this review and wants to read this book, you should go and check yourself in at your local mental health centre. Perversely, anyone who has read this and decided that this book is not for them, you should go and read it. I am not too proud to say that there was more than a little tear in my eye when I finished reading, so now I am off to slam a couple of doors so that my daughter wakes up and I have an excuse to go and give her a hug.

Source: http://cmro.travis-starnes.com/blog/2013/11/the-crow-curare-review

Diner Impossible Review

Diner Impossible - Terri L. Austin

I will be honest; I had never heard of the Rose Strickland series before reading this book and was not familiar with the character, her exploits, or her friends. In fact when I got this book I didn’t even know it was a series at first, although the fact that it is becomes readily apparent while reading it. I will say I am happy I found this series and I plan on going back and picking up the first two books. I might know how those end, because they are both mentioned in this installment, but I am sure I will enjoy them all the same.


This book falls squarely in the “madcap non-investigator mystery” style book that I have seen popping up over the last few years. It reminded me strongly of the Stephanie Plum books from Janet Evanovich, although to be clear this was in no way derivative. Like that series this book is made more by its characters then the actual mystery. To Terri Austin’s credit what makes this series stand apart from its contemporaries is that it has all those traits but the mystery itself is also very good. It had some nice twists and I was genuinely engaged in finding out who killed Delia Cummings. That is always a good sign for a mystery.


While nearly every character in the book has an analog character in similar works, again such as the Stephanie Plum series, the relationship between Rose and Sullivan is very interesting. You don’t often see the protagonist and an expressed bad guy connected together in a mystery novel, but it works really well here. While they seem to be on opposite sides of the law morally, their relationship is totally believable and interesting.


What makes this book work is its sense of humor. From the dialogue to many of the situations the book is downright amusing. It’s not a laugh a minute mind you, but it kept me smiling for pretty much the entire book.

Source: http://homeofreading.com/diner-impossible

Little Demon in the City of Light

Little Demon in the City of Light: A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Epoque Paris - Steven Levingston

This book reminds me heavily of Devil in the White City.  While it isn’t quite as good as the Pulitzer Prize winner, it gets very close.  The similarities strike me not simply because the book follows a gruesome murder, but in the narrative way the events are told and the tone that is used throughout the book.  Levingston is a skilled writer and it shows as he manages to weave together the story in a very compelling way.  True crime novels has a tendency to get a little lazy and let gruesome events try and carry to story rather than frame the events with good story telling.  Luckily Levingston did not fall into this trap.  I could imagine a weaker story teller creating a fairly drab and boring book out of these same events, which are not in of them terribly complex.  Considering this crime occurred at the same time as the Jack the Ripper murders, it could suffer from the comparison if not told in the right way.


The other thing that really helps this book succeed is the high level of research that was done.  Levingston has worked out the smallest details of the investigation and following trial and it feels like every piece of history has made it to the page.  Particularly interesting is the depth Levingston goes to in examining and explaining the landscape of the 19th century French legal system.  Specifically interesting was the description of how much credibility the courts still the pseudosciences and how little they tried to understand and deal with the mentally ill.  Also particularly interesting, although not touched on as much as I would have liked, was the descriptions of the slowly growing field of forensic sciences that was just gaining acceptance.  It doesn’t hit the levels covered in say The Poisoners Tale which focused on the same time frame, but it is interesting to see the lengths the police went through before fingerprints and other modern investigative tools.

Source: http://homeofreading.com/little-demon-in-the-city-of-light

The Survivors Club

The Survivors Club - J. Carson Black

As mysteries go this one is solid. It has pretty much everything you could ask for from a “who done it” and avoids a lot of the pit falls I have seen in other mysteries lately. The mystery itself is very well conceived. There is just enough information to keep you guessing but a tough enough puzzle that you don’t figure it out till the very end. I particularly liked how the various murders were all connected together and I doubled back on my guess several times as parts of the story were revealed.

J. Carsen Black is not an author I was familiar with prior to reading this book, but she certainly has a deft hand at story telling. Her writing flows naturally and the story progresses at a fairly even pace, at least until the very end. She also managed to avoid the pitfall of trying too hard to keep the villains in shadow. While you go about half the book before the culprits start getting unveiled, that first half doesn’t feel convoluted. I have seen other mysteries where the author twists the story in knots to tell what is going on without revealing who the bad guy is. Thankful when the story goes far enough to require the villains to step up Black allows them to act in the clear rather than artificially keep their identities secret. My one complaint about how this story is written is the end of the climax and the denuma. The story was so well paced until the end that when it came time to wrap everything up it felt incredibly rushed. The ended felt pretty unsatisfactory and left me wanting more, but in a bad way. Not wanting “another book” more but rather “where are the last 15 pages” more.

The characters are decently interesting and well-conceived. I was impressed that while Black gave the lead the standard “amazing ability”, she then didn’t keep hitting that over and over again. Her gifts felt more like texture rather than a contrived story device that predictably plays out in act three. I was happy to see that level of restraint in an author. The villains are appropriately evil, although perhaps a little to evil, and the rest of the cast were fairly two dimensional. That isn’t really a knock against Black however. This is not a terribly long book and there wasn’t enough room to both flesh out the full cast and tell a compelling story. If this ever becomes part of a Tess McCrae series then I would hope to see her friends and colleagues get more attention.

Source: http://homeofreading.com/the-survivors-club

Drakon Review

Drakon - S.M. Stirling

Alternate History is one of the most interesting forms of Sci-Fi, the key to which is getting the reader to suspend belief and buy into the different reality. The Domination Trilogy was Stirling’s first published foray into the AH genre, and I kept getting sidetracked when reading the books on historical divergences that I did not buy. Drakon is the work of a more mature writer and it shows. Only once did I stop and question the author’s logic: I couldn’t figure out why one of the good guys didn’t simply put a .50 caliber bullet from a Barrett sniper rifle into her head; they kept trying to kill the superwoman close in.

That is really nitpicking, however. This is a good read and any Stirling fan will enjoy it. It is close to being my favorite Stirling novel. The plot is intricate, the writing is good, the characters are realistic, including the featured and minors, and the story does not drag. He makes the interplay between 1999 Earth and the technology of 2442 believable. Good stuff.

Source: http://homeofreading.com/drakon

Orbital Decay Review

Orbital Decay - ALLEN STEELE

Overall this isn’t a bad story and reading it as someone living 20+ years after it was written it is easy to see parts of the book that are almost prescient. It shows how the public consciousness concerned about government surveillance is not limited to recent events and has been a concern for a very long time.

While the moral of the story does hold up the rest of the book feels highly dated. This is definitely a work from a Cold War mindset and you can feel that throughout the story. There are also many references that were topical at the time but no longer hold the same relevance. This is the issue of trying to look forward to what the future will be like, if it is later being read around the time the “future” story is set the reader cannot help but compare it to their actual lives. Since it was written a while ago you can’t really hold the anachronisms against the book, but it is something you notice.

There are moments later portions of the book where the story really picks up as events come to a head, but those seem to take a long time to get to. The first half of the book reads very slowly and much of the character interaction is not all that interesting. Anything dealing with the surveillance system on the station holds the reader’s attention but pretty much every other part of the book drags. This is unfortunate since the first chapter starts the book off with an interesting setup only to have nearly all of the rest of the book set in flashbacks that bring you back to the point in the first chapter. I can see what the author was going for but it just did not work for me.

The characters themselves are also not terribly interesting. You get essentially two types of characters, either widely over the top or totally bland. The main group of characters all feel like they were jotted down as a brief description and then never really evolved past that. They seem more like tools for telling the story rather then something to change and adapt as you read.

Source: http://homeofreading.com/orbital-decay

Ripper Review

Ripper - Stefan Petrucha

The plot progresses quickly with lots of exciting turns. This is obvious considering that at the beginning of the book Carver is in an orphanage and eventually ends up chasing Jack the Ripper. Along the way Carver meets future president Roosevelt, lives in an asylum and researches in a secret underground base. Stefan was able to take these great ideas and turn them into an amazing book with a fast-paced plot that keeps you wondering what will happen.

The book from the mystery standpoint is fantastic too. There are many clues and a few well placed red-herrings. The way the clues are put together fit well and unlike many of those found in Arthur Conan Doyle’s work, this book gives you all the clues instead of leaving out key ones or not giving you all the information necessary. We know what Carver finds unlike in mysteries such as Sherlock Holmes where the reader doesn’t know if they are on the right track till the end. The history of this book works really well too in that there aren’t really any suspects since we don’t have any idea who the real Ripper was either.

The book is a tiny bit slow at times but that is not a big problem. For me it was really fast paced, although I’m a fast reader, and I finished this book in basically a day not constantly reading. A slower reader may take up to two weeks, though they could probably finish in a week and a half. The excitement of certain parts speeds the book’s pace up from the slower pace near the beginning. Considering that I finish it fast since I’m a fast reader means that it is pretty fair-paced.


Source: http://homeofreading.com/ripper

1914: The Year the World Ended Review

1914: The Year the World Ended - Paul Ham

There is no denying that Paul Ham is a skilled historian. His research for this book is thorough and meticulous. He has a very firm grasp of all the events that built up and eventually lead to the war and the players involved. This book is very detailed and gives a very complete explanation of the causes of World War I.

While as a history text it does succeed, in every other way this book fails. It is billed as a narrative account and it is anything but that. The book is packed full of references and quotes. This is great if you need to as a reference source for a college paper, but not so great if you just want to read it. Although there is no doubt that Mr. Ham is a skilled writer that skill is purely academic focused and not made for entertainment. The book is incredibly dense and slow to read. Not that it isn’t interesting. For hard core history fans there is good information here. The big issue is that there are more enjoyable ways to get the information.

The subjects covered in this book are far from unique. Other writers have covered the same ground and done so in a much more enjoyable fashion. When put up next to something like The Guns of August which makes many of the same points, 1914 just doesn’t hold up. Barbara Tuchman managed to give us the same information but in a truly narrative way that is significantly more readable. I didn’t find any of Ham’s conclusions unique, and many of the “myths” about the war I would never consider myths. Anyone who has enough interest in history to read this kind of book already knows that the “myths” he describes aren’t correct. People that believe in these “myths” would never read this book and if they did would never finish it.

The other big issue is that the way he tells the story comes off as pretentious. There were times when it felt like Ham went out of his way to quote French poets and Italian artists. I get that he was trying to give a feel to the way people saw the world just before the war, but it felt more like the author saying “look how smart I am.” I am sure that isn’t what he was actually doing, at least not consciously, but it came off that way all the same.



Source: http://homeofreading.com/1914-the-year-the-world-ended

Five Ghost Volume 1: The Haunting of Fabian Gray Review

Five Ghosts, Vol. 1: The Haunting of Fabian Gray - Frank J. Barbiere, Chris Mooneyham

The ‘five ghosts’ refers to five literary entities that have possessed Fabian Gray. He can draw upon them when he needs them to help solve one of his cases, but sometimes they try to take over his body causing uncontrolled bursts of power and requiring him to knock himself out to stop them. A lot of the first part of this book feels very contrived. I remember reading very early Fantastic Four comics where at the beginning of each issue they would find a reason to use their powers to remind the reader what they were all about, often for no reason other than to get somewhere faster. The intro to this story feels just like that, a setup event, tailor made just so he can show off each of the five entities abilities. The problem is, most of the time you wonder if the powers of one would not be better used than the other, but they had to show them all off. It just does not work for me.


Part of the problem for me with this book is that it is not actually one book. Each issue is effectively a ‘done in one’ story that is very loosely tied to the next until the last two issues. Many trades read like one continuous story as they take out the ‘next issue’ boxes and all you are left with is a flashy splash page which was the end of the previous issue, but other than that it feels like one long story. This one rushes to conclude the issue, throwing in the tenuous connection to the next issue, before a complete change of pace as the new issue starts. By the end it all starts to come together, but a good ending does not make up for three issues I really contemplated not reading.


The art in this series gets one thing right and quite a few things wrong. I actually had to break my own rules when reviewing this series. I decided that I did not want to research any of the books I was being given so that they could sink or swim on their own merits, rather than feeling swayed by other peoples’ opinions. The reason I had to look this up was I wanted to know if it was a much older comic reprinted or a translation, or both. This reminds me of reading Tintin, obviously not in the subject matter, but in the printing, the art and the fact that the text in the speech bubbles is always too small for the white space.


This book finishes far stronger than it starts, even the art is more settled at the end. There is a half decent story here, but so much of it feels rehashed from other sources that it struggles to keep my interest. There is an entire issue dedicated to him passing tests to prove himself to this ghosts and this gets so repetitious and stale, especially when you consider how little text there is and how ill defined the art is at this point. This is not a title I can recommend unless you are a big fan of the golden age comics and the pulp heroes that preceded them. In which case this is probably exactly what you were looking for, but for anyone who likes comics from the digital age, it is a definite pass.


Disclaimer: This book was received for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://cmro.travis-starnes.com/blog/2013/10/five-ghost-volume-1-the-haunting-of-fabian-gray-review

East of West: The Promise, Volume One

East of West, Vol. 1: The Promise - Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta

When I was sent this trade for review I was very excited because I have never read a Western comic. All the titles I read are superheroes, gods, devils, angels, sci-fi and magic. So I was a little bit bemused when I opened this comic to three adolescents being ‘birthed’ from inside a magic circle. Fortunately only a few pages in it became apparent that I had the wrong impression all the time as this is an almost steam punk style western set in an equivalent but different modern day. This is the beauty of blind reviews as I have no preconceived ideas of what the comic will be about and therefore I can give a truly unbiased opinion.


I have to hand it to the writer, normally reading speech bubbles with ‘accents’ written in gets really old really quickly, however there is just the right amount of inflection to really make me hear that accent, without making it hard to read. I would love to be able to name the accent, but being from Old Blighty I would probably just embarrass myself. However if it comes through strongly with me, I expect anyone who is very used to hearing that accent would read it even more clearly than I do.


It is very hard to review a trade without giving away some spoilers. I have discovered that with individual issues you tend to be able to go up to about page 7 or 8 without spoiling the comic as up to that point was already spoiled by the teasers or the cover. With a trade such as this which evolves and grows throughout, never quite giving you all the information you need to understand the story it is hard to give any form of plot without ruining half the book. At its core this story breaks down to the idea of the four Horsemen, given bodies, in a world slightly in the future of ours where slightly different events took place than did on our world. The United States is not merely the USA, it is the entire world, ruled over by seven individuals. At some point they conspired to separate Death from the other horsemen and now those rejuvenated children seek their former partner to bring final apocalypse to the world.


There is some wonderful borrowed iconography in this book. The Black Tower is clearly reminiscent of Star Wars and the moment where Palpatine’s shuttle docks with the Death Star. The White Tower, while looking like a massive trigger button, also has a very Fifth Element/Star Wars feel about it with the rows of flying cars around it. I am certain if my knowledge of Western films extended beyond brief moments of my mother watching them on Saturday afternoons then I would see them in the moments around the campfires. It is a really clever use of homage that does not make the comic feel too much of a copy of other ideas, but at the same time draws upon our knowledge of them to remove the necessity to explain things further.


Disclaimer: This book was received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://cmro.travis-starnes.com/blog/2013/10/east-of-west-the-promise-volume-1-review

World War Z Review

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks

This book is nothing short of brilliant. That being said it may not be for everyone. It is important to note that this is not a straightforward narrative following a survivor through zombie wasteland. Instead World War Z is told in the form of an oral history set in a world where a worldwide zombie catastrophe has happened. Brooks has managed to do such a good job of creating a fictitious oral history that it in fact reads like many real oral histories I have read in the past.


World War Z recounts the alternate history of a world where there zombies rise from the dead, how they took over the world, and the ways in which the survivors pushed the zombies back and reclaimed their countries. Even though it is clearly a work of fiction it none the less comes off as very believable, thanks mostly to Brooks writing and the format he chose to tell the story in.


The thing that amazed me most is that this book is written by Max Brooks, the son of Mel Brooks. He also wrote The Survivalists Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypses, which is more tongue and cheek then World War Z and would seem more the Brooks family style. I say that not to take anything away from Max. He is a talented writer, very creative, and has written the best zombie fiction I have read yet. Being the connoisseur of zombie fiction in all its forms, that is saying something.

Source: http://homeofreading.com/world-war-z

The Reichsbank Robbery Review

The Reichsbank Robbery - Colin Roderick Fulton

Colin Fulton definitely knows his history and it is clear he has done a good amount of research for this book. He takes a series of real events, all of which he lays out in an appendix at the end of the book, and places his story around the edges of history that remain a mystery in real life. He takes this one step further by not only using well-known figures from history as a supporting cast but also lesser known but equal real members of the German government. Of all the historical fiction I have read Fulton has gone the furthest in grounding his story in real history, and the book is all the better for it.


One of the things I struggled with early on in this book was the characters. Not that they were poorly written. Nearly all of the major and supporting fictitious characters in the book feel very fleshed out and believable. The issue is that most of the protagonists in the book are people who by their very nature it is hard to like. One of the main characters in the book is an SS officer who keeps track of and account for all of the money stolen off the murdered prisoners in the concentration camp. It is difficult as a reader to sympathize and feel a connection to a character like that. To be fair as the book progressed Fulton managed to make the characters work out in a believable and satisfactory way without changing their evil nature. It is a tough line to walk and by the time I finished reading it I could only applaud Fulton’s success.


My only real complaint is how some of the language was used in the book. The author clearly has a fondness for the German language, and it was a detriment. As a book written in English nearly everything the characters say is in English for the reader, yet very often the author also has them say things in un-translated German. I found this fairly distracting because the jumping between languages would mean that most of the time the Germans are all speaking English to one another. While this is obviously not the case it makes those moments when the dialogue is in German feel even more out of place. German names and identifications I can accept but there is no reason for a character whose dialog has been presented in English for a chapter then say "come here" in German. Nearly every time this happened it pulled me out of the story.


That one complaint aside this is a really solid read and I enjoyed nearly every moment of it. If you are a fan of historical fiction or thrillers do yourself a favor and pick up The Reichsbank Robbery.


Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://homeofreading.com/the-reichsbank-robbery

Dies the Fire Review

Dies the Fire - S.M. Stirling

The book revolves around an interesting question; What if technology and gunpowder stopped working? Well of course the obvious answer is all hell would break loose. Dies the Fire sets up the world that will continue through several titles and introduces us to the 2 groups the series will be following, the Bearkillers and Clan Mackenzie.


It is the story that is the real high point of this book. I will say that some of the rules about what happens seem a bit weird and unconnected. However once you get past that the rest of the world evolves in a very believable way. The way groups form, who goes where, how areas of society break down all seem very well thought out. The story jumps back and forth between the Bearkillers and Clan Mackenzie, but it is the Bearkiller half of the story that really makes this book such a joy.


As with most books of the genre the characters can be a bit clichéd at times. Stirling does manage to have them rise above that for the majority of the book however. Most of the time when reading Dies the Fire the characters come off as well balanced and interesting. Anything that has to do with following Havel and his group around is completely engaging. The supporting Bearkillers are nearly as well written and interesting as Havel. I can almost not say enough how much I enjoyed reading about this group.


On the flip side you have the characters following Mackenzie. My praise for the Bearkillers should not lead you to believe the Mackenzie’s are completely uninteresting. My only real complaint about them was that the constant Wicca refrain that hurt any section of the book it showed up in, or at least made it more annoying. It is clear the author has a fondness towards the religion but it began feeling very preachy in parts. Unfortunately Stirling’s passion has overshadowed what could have been an otherwise equally interesting group to read about.


Of course what is any book without a villain? Arminger is a superb antagonist and comes off as incredible smart, ruthless, and only slightly flawed. Having read so many sci-fi titles with incompetent or completely outmatched bad guys, this depiction of a villain who is the equal of the heroes was a fresh change of pace.

Source: http://homeofreading.com/dies-the-fire

Agent of Change Review

Agent of Change, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, initially published in 1988, is the first book featuring the Liaden Universe. There are currently sixteen novels and numerous short stories set in this universe, with several later novels and stories set chronologically before the events in Agent of Change.


Val Con yos’Phelium, future head of Clan Korval, the most powerful of Liaden Clans has been brainwashed by the Department of the Interior, a clandestine organization intent on establishing Liaden supremacy. As the plot unfolds, he saves the life of Miri Robertson. They become involved in each other’s problems and struggle through this book and its sequels to find solutions.


This is a terrific book. It is a very fine space opera; moreover, it is a space romance. The writing is deft, the characters are well defined and complex, and the dialog is clever and witty. The only real issues are that the science part of the science fiction is sketchy and the military action seems amateurish. The writing is done well enough, and the plotting is quick enough, that these are really not noticeable. The key to good sci-fi is to enable the reader to easily suspend disbelief; Lee and Miller do this well.

Source: http://homeofreading.com/agent-of-change