Have you ever wondered about points of view and how they affect narrative order? What about the finer points of space opera and other genres? Listen and watch was Josh Hayes and I completely demystify these and other topics...or at least talk about writing and stuff.
Video blogging is new and mysterious to me. I can't speak for Josh or the audience we had during the live broadcast, but I had a lot of fun. Probably, there will more and better video blogs headed this way.
Thanks for stopping by!
No Way to Start a War, the second book in the TCOTU series (This Corner of the Universe) by Britt Ringel is a well thought out military space opera with excellent characters. I enjoyed the first book in the series, but Now Way to Start a War is better.
First of all, the conflict between the Hollaran Commonwealth and the Brevic Republic is heating up. Lt. Heskan and his crew face dangerous enemies as they become part of a new mission and learn to handle a larger ship. New and old battle tactics become important, and Heskan has decisions to make.
No Way to Start a War benefits from tighter control of point of view characters, a high-stakes plots, and some serious moral dilemmas faced by various characters. But one of the biggest home runs in the book is the antagonist. I won’t put any spoilers in this review, but Ringel did an excellent job with one of the primary antagonist, an area of storytelling were many authors, even the greats, often fall short.
My “job” as a book reviewer is to help readers, to tell it all, to shuck it down to the cob as we say in these here parts. I am confidently giving No Way to Start a War a five (5) star review, so keep that in mind when I share my less favorite parts.
Science fiction fans love detail. I marvel at how much technical and operational detail authors like Britt Ringel can put into a book. Sometimes, for me, it is too much and slows things down. Take it for what it’s worth; the detail in this book is very thorough. On one hand, I learn a lot about how a space faring naval force might operate. I believe Ringel's bio says he was an officer in the Air Force. He seems qualified to speculate on how would operate in the future. So if you are the type of science fiction fan that thrives on this kind of thing, the TCOTU series is definitely for you. If you have a shorter attention space and suffer from slow-reading-syndrome (I daydream as I read fiction--entering the story world as it were), then the TCOTU is still very excellent.
I’ve said it before, Britt Ringel’s books remind me of Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey in space. There really isn’t higher praise than that.
Last year I discovered the works of science fiction author John G. Hemry (whose pen name is Jack Campbell) and listened to the Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier series. It was an honest mistake, and I planned to return to the first series once I finished the second.
Dauntless is an entertaining book for several reasons. The protagonist, Black Jack Geary, is thoroughly honorable and dedicated to his duty. He's a strong hero who wins. The supporting cast either idolizes him as a legend reborn or despises him as a relic of a previous era. In Dauntless, Geary is faced with long odds and must retrain the fleet in forgotten traditions and disciplines.
The book is packed with dialogue and internal dialogue. The setting consists largely of "light minutes and hours" from the enemy or destinations. There is plenty of information dump and explanations of how space battles are fought. The theme of the book seems to be how Black Jack Geary is a reluctant hero, an exceptionally moral and honorable hero, and is destined to be the greatest military champion ever.
This description might turn potential readers off, as it encompasses several techniques writers are taught to avoid, however, I must say I really enjoyed Dauntless and plan to listen to the rest of the series in audiobook format.
Life is an adventure. I read to expand my horizons and write because I must.
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