The Best Science Fiction Read in a Long Time
January 15, 2018
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I picked this up thinking I would find out the ending to Arkhaven’s first comic series. But then I couldn’t put it down.
It’s in the same universe. And it’s very much like Traveller. Worlds have tech levels which are enforced by law. There is a “spinward marches” where all the action takes place. There is a jump drive and some sort of non-reality jumpspace… but you can precipitate out of jump in less than two weeks.
But the story…. It really is first rate. If you liked Poul Anderson’s Flandry stories, The Mote in God’s Eye, Jerry Pournelle’s A Spaceship for the King, or Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness in the Sky, then this will be right up your alley. It’s an intricate spy thriller featuring a female James Bond type going head to head against sort of a female Agent Smith and it’s utterly engrossing.
One thing about Vox if you’ve observed how he handles real life intrigues, he really does think several moves ahead compared to most people. Also he’s quite cunning. This “evil mastermind” trait of his turns out to be a perfect fit for this type of book. For the first time in a very long time I get to see an elaborate “chess game played on interstellar scales” plot with factions that have realistic motivations… and adversaries that are actually worthy opponents.
How many times have you heard reviewers complain that a property’s bad guy is neither competent nor coherent? Well this book is the answer to that objection. If you’re on the hunt for a tightly plotted space thriller, this should go to the top of your pile.