Friday, March 28, 2014

Treecat Wars by David Weber & Jane Lindskold

First Publication:  2013

Source:  Net Galley

Summary (from Goodreads):
New York Times and Publishers Weekly Best Selling Young Adult Series. Book Three by international writing phenomenon David Weber. Two young settlers on a pioneer planet seeks to stop a war and to save the intelligent alien treecats from exploitation by unscrupulous humans.

"Treecat Wars" brings back good memories of the many young adult science fiction books of my youth.  "Two young settlers on a pioneer planet..." makes me think of many of the classics Robert A. Heinlein.  When you mix in the "intelligent alien treecats" and the "unscrupulous humans" my mind turns to Andre Norton's work.  In both cases this is a good thing.  Both authors helped to mold my love of science fiction.  I have seen David Weber's name on numerous books but never tried his fiction.  Jane Lindskold's byline appeared on her collaborations with the great Roger Zelazny.  I figured I was in for a treat.

I found this to be a solid entry into the science fiction YA field.  The authors did a good job of developing the characters.  I was puzzled by the title.  I thought the war would play a bigger part in the story.  As this is book 3 in the series, I was worried that I would be lost.  Weber and Lindskold filled the reader in while keeping the story moving.  I had no problem following the story.  The story impressed me enough that I will go back and read the first two books in the series.

If you are in the mood for a good old time Norton style book, I recommend picking up "Treecat Wars".

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Incrementalists by Steven Brust & Skylar White

First Publication:  2013

Source:  Net Galley

Summary (from Amazon):  
The Incrementalists—a secret society of two hundred people with an unbroken lineage reaching back forty thousand years. They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations, races, and time. They have an epic history, an almost magical memory, and a very modest mission: to make the world better, just a little bit at a time. Their ongoing argument about how to do this is older than most of their individual memories. 

Phil, whose personality has stayed stable through more incarnations than anyone else’s, has loved Celeste—and argued with her—for most of the last four hundred years. But now Celeste, recently dead, embittered, and very unstable, has changed the rules—not incrementally, and not for the better. Now the heart of the group must gather in Las Vegas to save the Incrementalists, and maybe the world.

Steven Brust is an author I have been meaning to read again.  I read his "Agyar", which happens to be another novel that deals with a form of immortality, and was very impressed by it.  In addition to that, many people have told me that since I am a big Roger Zelazny fan i would enjoy Brust's work(especially his "Vlad Taltos" series).  i plan on reading one of that series but thought I would try this book first.

"The Incrementalists" demonstrates that Brust is indeed an author who is working with similar themes to Zelazny.  And that is a compliment.  What is not to like in this book?  I enjoy adventures with immortals, a battle to save the world, and a quest to make the world a better place.  Most of the books dealing with such ideas make the immortals out to be bigger than life and fighting epic battles.  I thought this was an interesting change of pace.

Some of the other reviewers have commented that this is not like Brust's other work.  That it does not have the grand scale.  While I enjoy the big adventure stories, I found this smaller love story to be a good change.  Brust took a chance on this story and it paid off for me.