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Title: The Sundering
Series: Dread Empires Fall #2
Author: Walter Jon Williams
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital edition
Plucky young hero, Gareth Martinez, wins battles against the horrible Naxids using unthought of tactics using “mathz”. His terrible older brother schemes to make lots of money and gain power.
Plucky young heroine, Caroline Sula, who is really a street rat, wants to marry Gareth. Gareth wants to marry her. But the damnable Gene Checking Office kills her dreams like a fly. In fear and distress, Sula spurns Gareth only to have Gareth’s older brother (the power hungry one, in case you missed it) arrange a marriage for Gareth with a beautiful woman from a powerful, but poor, Clan house. Sula, with broken heart, joins the French Foriegn Legion, to forget her troubles. Well, she actually joins the newly birthed anti-Naxid force, to oppose them when they take over the capital world.
The Drama. The Pathos. Find out what happens to them both in our next episode of General Dread Empire Hospital!
Pure Space (Soap) Opera.
I’ve read enough Jack Campbell Lost Fleet books to know that new tactics against stodgy old tactics almost always means insta-victory. There is nothing wrong with that as long as that is all you want. Because that is all you’re going to get with this book. Gareth is not a genius, he’s just trying out new things against people who aren’t used to new things. In 5 to 10 years everybody will be trying out new things and seeing what works and writing new military engagement doctrines.
Sula brought this book down for me. Her knee-jerk reaction to Gareth’s proposal and revelation that they’d have to have a gene check wasn’t enjoyable to read about. The parts of the story where she’s fighting the Naxid as they take control of the capital planet was much better and I wish there had been a lot more focus on that.
Overall, this was pretty decent. Nothing great, nothing inspired but also nothing terrible. If you’re craving Space Opera, I’d recommend this to scratch that itch.