Friday, June 01, 2012

Invincible: The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier, Book 2

I love military SF. The series of books by Jack Campbell that detail the adventures of now Admiral Jack Geary are like crack to me. Well written and carefully planned out, they show the breadth and depth of military operations as well as the human side of the force. The author doesn't cheat to make sure that battles are too easy, and every victory comes with a price.

After defeating the Syndicate in the first series, John and his fleet are sent out to explore and obtain more information about the Enigma race that was driving the actions of the Syndicate. And in the events of the first book of this new series he learns more about the Enigma's and is driven to encounter even more alien races.

The fun part of this series is that John Geary is never left in a comfortable place. After being frozen a hundred years the society that he returned to was quite alien to him, and just as he was becoming comfortable he is now forced to contend with the truly alien aliens. I cannot wait until the next book!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vampire Academy

Vampires go to school?  Who knew?

The story begins with the characters, Lissa - a Moroi (living vampire) princess - and Rose - Lissa's Dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) protector already on the run. Shortly thereafter they are captured and returned to St. Vladimir's, a school where the young Moroi and Dhampir are trained.

In a twist from traditional mythology there are 2 types of vampires, the Moroi who live lives like humans (except for the requirement to take in blood as well as food and sensitivity to light) and the more traditional Strigoi (the dead). Richelle Mead builds up a very engaging world for her characters to inhabit, having to spend a moderate amount of time actually expanding this world during the story.

Most of the action (in true YA style) is built around the interactions between the main characters and the other students at the Academy. Both of reintegration and the invariable clique building (imagine if your High School had both commoners and various nobles attending it. It makes the jocks vs nerds stuff look tame, in particular since everyone there either knows magic or is insanely strong/fast). There is an overarching storyline that keeps the plot moving.

Much darker than most books of this genre, with more action and topics that you don't normally see (talk of suicide, drinking, sex).

Looking forward to the next book in this series.