Reading a complete series from cover to cover in consecutive sittings (i.e., without many books in between) is a rarity for me…either the series doesn’t hold my attention, the series is incomplete (i.e., I’d read George R. R. Martin’s Ice and Fire series straight through if they were all written and published) or something else gets in the way.
I read the five book Gap Cycle by Stephen R. Donaldson almost straight through, and truly enjoyed the series. The five books are:
Ragamuffin is three books in one: a space opera, featuring a complex world with humans near the bottom of the socio-economic chain; a sequel to Mr. Buckell’s excellent first novel, Crystal Rain, featuring Pepper and John from that book as Nanagada evolves after the war from that book; and the bringing together of both story lines. All three are excellently described, well-paced and enjoyable, with my only consternation being in trying to keep the different alien and somewhat human species straight.
I moved Ragamuffin to the top of my reading stack, as I won an ARC of Mr. Buckell’s forthcoming third tome, Sly Mongoose, from Variety of Words. Based on what I now know, I would recommend that these books be read in order (Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, Sly Mongoose) in order to have the full background of characters and plots. (more…)
This concluding book brings all the players in the saga together on or around Earth, where the political and personal manipulations conclude in individual and mass space battles. The ending (spoilers below) is satisfying without being Disney-esque.
At the end of book 4, Morn and company aboard Trumpet had escaped the Amnion defensive battle cruiser Calm Horizons, the mercenary Free Lunch and Sorus by launching a singularity grenade (re: black hole in a box) that Angus detonated while attached to the outside of Trumpet. The black hole sucked Free Lunch into it. Soar (captained by Sorus) turned against the Amnion and Calm Horizons destroyed them (after Sorus had already shot and killed Nick, one of our main three players on Trumpet). The UMCP cruiser Punisher was also fighting Calm Horizons (whose incursion into human space was an act of war), but broke off to chase the fleeing Trumpet.
On Earth, Warden Dios was continuing his subversion of Holt Fasner, CEO of the UMC (and basically ruler of the world) through the GCES (Governing Council of Earth and Space). (more…)
My wife and I were invited to a couple of the final events of Wine and Food week in the Woodlands. The Waterford by Robert Mondavi Seminar and the Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & South American Chef Showcase. I found some great wines to add to my everyday list (I’m too impatient to keep much of a cellar, though I do have some Silver Oak, Amarone and my wife’s Cristal Champagne put back), had some excellent South American food and only had one incident of “red wine on the white clothing spillage”. (more…)
Book 4 of The Gap Cycle
As far as Stephen R. Donaldson’s Gap Series goes, this, the fourth book in the series, is the one that gets the space warfare cranked up. He levels up the weapons, the obstacles, the treachery and the number of opponents deftly and with great reading pace.
The ship Trumpet has come to an illegal lab, set to make the anti-mutagen that the galactic police (UMCP) have had but have suppressed from the rest of humanity for so long, keeping the alien threat of the Amnion alive for profit. But Morn Hyland, Angus Thermopyle and Nick Succorso, and the others on board are stalked by many ships and factions: (more…)