From the back cover: "Two-time nominee for the Campbell Award and finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award, Susan R. Matthews continues to blaze a trail through contemporary science fiction with Angel of Destruction. A stand-alone novel within her critically acclaimed Judiciary Universe, her latest work focuses on Bench specialist Garol Vogel and his attempts to make peace with the Langsarik people- the people his own Judiciary drove into a life of piracy.
Vogel has offered the disenfranchised Langsariks an amnesty agreement that would ban them from space travel and ensure an end to their pirate raids. But now, raids are being committed in Judiciary space. Raids that leave no surviviors. Raids blamed on the Langsarik. And if Vogel can find no proof to support his belief that the Langsarik are not responsible for the raids, the Judiciary will have no choice but to enforce a harsher punishment, in effect, destroying the Langsarik entirely."
Now my thoughts. Garol Vogel is a just and honorable man trying to work within a government that is frequently neither just or honorable. The Langsariks are not just pirates, but the last of a resistence group that their own government has turned its back on. Now they are a captive people, trying to make the best of the amnesty Garol wrangled for them, but they have a powerful hidden enemy out for revenge. Also we have Kazmer Daigule, a smuggler and a thief, but loyal enough to his Langsarik friends that he'll sacrifice his life to help them, and Cousin Stanoczk, an agent of the galaxy's finest intelligence service, the Church of the Malcontent.
Estarion is Emperor of two lands, the descendant of the Sun god, but he can't wed the common-born woman he loves, the man he loves has vowed to kill him, and unless he can gain control of his subjects and his magic, he will die and plunge the realms into bloody war.
The elite government officials of the Polite Harmony of Worlds use specially designed clones called probes to collect and analyze data for them. Probes like August have enhanced inteligence and senses, but they are slaves to their electors, and they are genetically programed to die young of a condition called 'flare' which causes their metabolism to increase until they cannot take in enough calories to sustain them and they starve to death. To add to his misery, August is a clone of an infamous probe, Allexander, who betrayed his masters to reveal the truth about a plot that is still in play.
Tanya Huff's Blood Books, along with her Shadow books, are some of my favorites. If you enjoyed Buffy, I think you'll appreciate the fast pace, the modern setting, the smart-assed heroes and the blend of real, honest to god horror nicely blended with wry humor and fun.
This book works on so many levels, it's hard to know where to start. On one hand, it's almost formula romance, with the slight twist that it's the boy who gets to be unusually plucky and courageous while his wives-to-be work to rescue him from danger. Oh, right, there's another little twist- Jerin is being wooed by no fewer than five princesses.
The story is fast-paced(as all of Wen Spencer's are) and gripping. I long for a sequel, or better still, a prequel done on the story of Jerin's kidnapped grandfather, Prince Alannon.
A well-written, fast-paced adventure about the loyalty, friendship and quick wits of a group of young beggars and thieves and how they help foil a conspiracy and save a king. I definitely recommend it for older kids, or even grown-ups who like a good rolicking fantasy.
I usually enjoy K. Kurtz's Deryni novels, but this one dragged. Very little focus was actually on toddler Alaric Morgan, but the events around him. The few times he does appear, he's precocious. His parents are saintly, the king has become a tragic figure, the Camberian Council is opaque and mysterious... The book fills in a lot of background for those obsessively keeping track of who married/murdered/hated/loved whom and when, but it doesn't have any characters who really make a connection to the reader.
The writing is very original and creative, and well put-together, but I started losing interest about halfway through, as it never ceased the unrelenting strangeness. Just not my cup of tea to be continually baffled. I kind of like a book to start making sense eventually.
This book was so awful. Like eating a pound of those orange squishy circus peanuts bad. The plot was predictable, but that's not unusual in a romance novel. It was the characters I couldn't stand. They were so annoying! So shallow! So dumb!
Savannah is a complete twit, throwing one temper-tantrum after another. She supposedly knows that her intended lifemate, Gregori, will go mad and succumb to true vampirism without her, and then either be killed or kill god knows how many other people, but she spend several chapters whining about how she wants to be free, would rather die. Gack. Spoiled, selfish bint. Even when she finally comes around about the lifemate bond, she's swinging wildly between 'I want to help you kill our enemies' and 'oh, violence, this is so terrible I can't bear it!' Gregori is no better. He's forcing his will on her from begining to end, treating her like a child (can't blame him there, she acts like one) and glowering at everybody while inwardly wallowing in guilt and angst about what a monster he is, simply because he's killed so many vampires, all of whom were unremmittingly, irredemibly evil.
Then there's Gary, their new human friend. Seems Gregori has existed thousands of years, learned how to navigate the human world to the point where he can run multiple companies and buy properties, etc, but has never met a human he liked before. And while I am on this rant I want to complain about this thing about male Carpathians not being able to feel emotions without their lifemates and this is what sends them over the edge to become vampires, just so they can feel emotions. Despair is not an emotion? Longing to feel isn't? And Feehan can't be bothered to learn anything about anything! Savannah is supposedly a famous stage magician, but it seems she cheated by using her inborn powers. She never thinks about magic again after teaming up with Gregori, never does any slight of hand or lets it be important to the plot except as a cover for vampire weirdness later in the game. Gary is suposedly a genius biochemist but all he ever thinks about is how he was bullied in high school.
If you are able to suspend disbelief about the protaganist being half alien to begin with, it's a neat concept. But the author isn't true to it. Kadar San winds up having the best of both worlds, able to use his alien abilities without suffering the consequences. The disembodied 'good' and 'evil' presences on the Dark Planet were kind of cheesy, too. But there's some good action. It held my attention to the end, even if it did turn out a little too pat.
Humans came very close to wiping themselves out in a nuclear war, but the survivors were saved by the Oankali, for a price. The Oankali are determined to interbreed, and in a single generation there will be no more humans. Through the eyes of aliens, and by comparison, Butler gives a deeply insightful look at what it means to be human.
The fourth novel in Susan Mattew's 'Jurisdiction' series, and not a good place to start for beginners. People tend to either love or hate these books, so you might want to go read the amazon.com reviews, starting with the first book 'An Exchange of Hostages'.