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Author: Alan Foster
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Format: Kindle digital edition
I am attempting to reread 10+ books in 2016 that I have rated highly in the past. I am not attempting to second guess or denigrate my younger self in any way but am wanting to compare how my tastes have changed and possibly matured. I am certainly much more widely read now [both in the good and bad quality sadly] than then.
I will hopefully be going into the reasons for any differences of opinions between then and now. If there is no difference of opinion, then it was a hellfire’d fine book!
Links may link to either Booklikes or Blogspot, depending on when the original review was.
Ethan Fortune, traveling space salesman, interrupts a kidnapping and is taken along for the ride. The little kidnapping craft crashes and the kidnappee’s suddenly out number, out bulk and out gun their lone kidnapper. Sadly, they’ve crashed on Tran-Ky-Ky, the Hoth of the HumanX commonwealth, where metal is rare, the natives furry and the group is 1000 of kilometers from the only humanx outpost on the world.
After being rescued by a group of friendly natives, you’d think the groups’ problems were over. Nope. It appears that they have arrived just as the locals are rising up against the Horde, a nasty group that sails around taking tribute and causing mayhem.
Lots of adventures happen and the book ends with the Slanderskee, an ice rigger [hence the name of the book and trilogy], skating into Brass Monkey, the humanx outpost.
If was I reading this for the first time, I’d be hesitating between 3.5 and 4 Stars. There are several things that you could nitpick about. My main one was where was the security detail for the Du Kanes? Heads of businesses that are multi-bajillionaires don’t wander around by themselves.
However, since this is my 5th or 6th time reading this, I’ve obviously gotten past that. This is another book that I read multiple times in highschool, at least once or twice in bibleschool and then again since 2000. And now. When I read this back in ’06, I started looking for a hardcover edition. I managed to buy one recently [ie, in the last couple of years] for under $100, but before that, the price had ranged from $150 to $450. OUCH.
This was fun. Ethan is a good face for the group. Being a salesman he’s used to dealing with disparate groups of beings and is mentally flexible enough that a little thing like being stranded on an ice planet doesn’t make him panic and freeze [ha, wordplay totally intended there]. Skua September is the mature, wise, warrior elder. Ok, maybe not quite so wise or mature but he definitely provides that “experience” vibe that Ethan certainly doesn’t have. Then the “scientist’y” teacher who fills in all those science’y parts necessary in an SF book. Finally, there are the Du Kanes. The sometimes senile, sometimes not, father and then Collette, the smart as a whip, really running the business but a dutiful and loving daughter. Who can only be described as fat.
Foster pulls no punches whatsoever in regards to Collette. In some ways it is rather shocking to see how she is treated so bluntly, but I never felt like it was used as a comedic “hey lets make fun of the fat girl” kind of thing. She is not a princess but is expected to fill a princess’s role and that conflict brings a bit of gravity to this otherwise pretty light novel.
The fighting was great. There were several battles and each one was great to read about. Made me want to go outside, skate around and cut people’s heads off 🙂
Once again, this was a smashing success for my Project Reread.