Saturday, January 21, 2006



After a bit of a dry spell I have run into several books that I have enjoyed and thought I would post about them.  Here are the books that I have read recently (last two weeks);

Blackcollar – Timothy Zahn
     This is a good SF adventure book, not deep, but thoroughly enjoyable.  The general scenario is that Earth was defeated in a war after establishing a limited multi-star nation.   Their conquerors are the typical barbarians who have succeeded by using ruthless tactics and using technology taken from their victims.  The key to the story is that one of the Humans greatest weapons in the war was their Blackcollars.  Basically they are a combination Navy Seal and Ninja but greatly enhanced based on advanced drug treatment akin to a super-steriod.  A generation after the war the resistance begins to fight back at the same time that the Ryqril are hampered by another war of conquest.  Looks to be the first in a multiple book series that I will look forward to enjoying as they are released.

Starship: Mutiny – Mike Resnick
     More along the lines of a space opera somewhat like the Retief series by Keith Laumer or the Sten series by Allan Cole and Chris Bunch.  Again very enjoyable and the story has enough twists too it to keep you on your feet.  The story is about a hero who was too good and his superiors have decided to get him out of the way, and out of the war, by assigning him to a worn out old warship with a crew full of rejects in the backwaters of space.  Another starting book in what looks to be a thoroughly entertaining series.

Rebel Ice – S.L. Viehl
     This is the latest in the Stardoc series and a bit of a diversion from the main story.  The heroine has suffered amnesia after surviving a spaceship crash on an ice world.  Caught in the middle of a rebellion against the lords who rule the planet she, and her friends, become key players in the rebellion.  This story keeps the series fresh and provides a few clues into the main story line of the series without actually providing a major step in the series major war between the Human League and the Jorenian Clans.

Against All Enemies – John G. Henry
     The latest in SF’s answer to JAG, this series follows a naval officer who through his duties as the ship’s legal officer gets involved in one major legal issue after another.  The latest involves a spy among his own shipmates.  Each book has a bit of action and more than a bit of legal maneuvering and this one has followed that formula well.

The Last Templar – Michael Jecks
     While this series has been around for a while it just now came to my attention.  This book is the first in the Knights Templar Mystery series and introduces Simon Puttock, a knight in England who has just been promoted to bailiff of Lydford Castle.  He quickly meets an unusual group of months and their abbot, a knight recently returned to England from abroad to assume his inheritance of land, and not one, not two but several murders.  A good mix of crime solving and adventure which has hooked me on the series which I mean to start my way through the rest (well over a dozen published to date).

Strong Arm Tactics, The Wolf Pack: Book I – Jody Lynn Nye
     This book is an obvious homage to Robert Aspirin’s Phule series though with less of Pfule’s outright outrageous events it certainly retains many of the same outrageously funny events and tactics.  Like Pfule, Wolf has set out to prove himself and do something good by joining the military, though he is very wealthy and comes from a powerful family.  Though his family’s power and wealth comes from a darker source, more of a 31st century mafia.  It was enjoyable, fun, and again has me hooked on the series.  

By Order of the President – W.E.B Griffin (Presidential Agent I)
The Hostage – W.E.B. Griffin (Presidential Agent II)

     I missed this when it first came out but when I ran across the next in the series I grabbed this one to read first.  It follows the same formula of the rest of Griffin’s books though in a modern day times and stories.  The main character is the son of two wealthy and respected families, one Tex-Mex and the other German, who has joined the Army in the tradition of his ancestors on both sides of the family tree.  We visit two of Griffin’s favorite regions, Germany and Argentina, and like many of his heroes Carlos Castillo/Karl von und zu Gossinger is not hesitant to use his family, friends and money to help complete his mission.  Another excellent series that will be on my “buy on publication date” watch on Amazon.

A Long Shadow – Charles Todd
     The latest in the Ian Rutledge Mystery series it follows the normal formula well, though I am starting to tire of “Hamish”.   The series is set in England after World War I, Ian was an officer on the front and not only was wounded physically but emotionally as well.  He carries with him the “ghost” of a soldier he had executed for cowardice on the battlefield.  Hamish is always right over his shoulder whispering both helpful hints, complaints as well as outright whiny comments.  This story is a bit more complicated than previous novels in the series in that besides having a difficult case to solve that involves solving other older cases that are the key to the current one, dealing with avoiding traps and virtual landmines left by his superior, he also is being stalked by someone from the war that seems to want him dead.

Nothing But Trouble – Michael McGarrity
     The latest in the Kevin Kearney series this book provides a bit more of his wife Sara’s story than previous books.  Kevin is getting close to retirement from his position as Santa Fe’s Chief of Police and is convinced by and old, but not so close any more, friend to act as the technical consultant on a film being shot in New Mexico’s Bootheel area.  Of course the film becomes another source to get him involved in solving crimes that have nothing to do with Santa Fe.  Meanwhile his wife as a case of her own with enough political explosive to blow her career out of the water.  Nice story, but more low key than most of McGarrity’s it leaves me wondering where Kearney and Sara will end up next.

Well as you can see I have spent a good deal of time reading lately, though given that I tend to read a book through until done rather than putting it aside to do such boring things as sleeping it didn’t take me long.  Next I will post the books on the top of my reading pile and afterwards will provide my thoughts.


At 11:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding S.L. Veihl's book rebel Ice - The League isn't "human". The League is a powerful alliance of many different planets that has, among other races / species, many human officers.


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