Dec. 30th, 2013

saffronhare: (birch durer hare)
Out of the Dark, David Weber

This one is an "alien invasion science fiction novel," of the sort wherein Earthlings kick ass because humans are so much more tenacious and inventive than the silly aliens assumed we'd be...almost a Mary Sue thing, but on an planetary scale. Full of weapons geekery -- like, maybe 12% of the words could be all "blah, blah, blah" if you don't care all that much about *which* machine gun sight will work best in a given situation. All the women were competent; all the men were caring husbands and fathers, etc. There started to be some interesting discussion from the invader species' xenobiologist regarding human psychology, but then that character died. Bummer. Also, the ending came out of nowhere, and not in that great plot management sort of way. Here's what it was like: we used to have D&D game that included chaos magic, in which the DM would roll a d100 to determine kind of random event happened as a consequence of successful (or unsuccessful) chaos magician's actions. Plotwise, this ending reminded me of the time a piano fell out of the sky on top of a villain's head. Still a super-enjoyable writing style even if he uses foreshadowing like an M1A1. (Highly mobile, designed for modern armored ground warfare, the M1 is well armed and heavily armored. Notable features include the use of a powerful gas turbine engine [multi-fuel capable, usually fueled with JP8 jet fuel], the adoption of sophisticated composite armor, and separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment for crew safety. Weighing nearly 68 short tons [almost 62 metric tons], it is one of the heaviest main battle tanks in service. See what I did there?) I will look for other Weber books. I wonder if the WTF Ending is a thing for him. News at eleven.

Engaging the Enemy, Elizabeth Moon

Alas, this seems to be third in a series; if not a series, it's at least the third book in a general world/storyline crafted such that one has to read the preceding books to really understand. Which...you know, that's okay. Books that use lots of paragraphs recapping what happened before can be dull, but perhaps there's a happy medium between "let's review, kids" and "you're on your own." I don't know why I didn't pick up on that before I checked it out of the library, but I gave up after about 40 pages. Nobody has time for that noise. I think I'll like the characters and the general story, but there just wasn't any point in struggling to read this one right now. I'll seek out the first and start there.

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