Been ages since I reviewed something; the last book I looked at also turned out to be one of the best I’ve read, so if this post hadn’t come along, it would’ve been a fitting burial. Incidentally, that word could have been used to describe this site till just a month ago, with it’s frequency of updation being somewhere close to zilch, but like this review section getting a new lease of life, I smashed up some revamped kewl links so that even if I’m too lazy to type in huge entries, at least something gets on this site via ze magic of push-button publishing.
I’m deviating. We Few by John Ringo and David Weber is branded Military Scifi. Unlike the earlier books in the series: March Upcountry, March to the Sea and March to the Stars, We Few is not purely mil-fi, it’s more a combo of romance, space fiction, diplomatic theory and like all Ringo books, it force-feeds us a healthy dose of Kipling down our gullets. The story of the series is a pretty formulaic “coming of age” tale. Prince Roger, a sugar dandy and heir tertiary to the Imperial Throne is stranded on a deserted planet, and through a trial of hardships, gore, blood, loss and love becomes the uber king who restores the throne to its former glory. Since I delight in growing up tales, I liked this book the best, because Roger was in his element here. However, because of my immediate dislike of militiary fiction – I’ve read about 9 books of Ringo this past month and still I haven’t gotten over it – I didn’t like this as much.
But I’m not sure it’s mil-fi I hate, or Ringo’s writing, because just as the action seems to heat up, he breaks it up with military/diplomacy theory, and why this plan works or should work, and why something else shouldn’t or didn’t. Or why this situation turned out to be like this. Too much analysis is grating. I have to say though that Weber and Ringo write well together, they are very compatible authors. Perhaps this is too harsh, but I also find them decidedly mediocre. It’s okayish writing, but definitely not a cover-to-cover read.
There are definitely other niggles too: weak female characters, unfunny humor, dragging sub-plots, and some really convoluted name creation that takes some “Oh, this is that guy!” moments to get used to. And when you see “scholar”, “non-combatants” and “Imperial throne” in the same sentence and think nothing of it, you know it’s time to get up and take a long break before you come back to read.