Book: Victory Conditions

I blogged about a previous volume in this series, Engaging the Enemy, and while I had complaints, I rated it a 4, because I will continue to go out and look for books by this particular author. Elizabeth Moon does good characterizations and her plot lines are generally interesting enough. I do not find her battle scenes all that engaging or well described. If you’re looking for David Weber style battle scenes, these don’t match up.

Nonetheless, as I said last time, I have kept on reading the series, and while Elizabeth Moon is not on my top tier list (gotta have everything they write, NOW!), her name is a pretty good one to get me reading.

[Spoiler alert]

I found the ending of this book a bit anticlimactic. The final battle is not the best of the lot. I could summarize it as “there was a lot of shooting in space and then the good guys won.” The ending seems almost abrupt, one in which we’re told what happens to everyone sort of like those notes just before film credits telling you where each character ended up.


OK, so I will grab the next book by Moon anyhow, though this series is finished. I still rate the series a 4, but this final book is, I think, the least engaging of the series.

Book: The Third Lynx

I like Timothy Zahn’s writing a great deal, though I prefer the conqueror series to any of his other writing. Nonetheless Blackcollar and Cobra material is really, really good, so the comparison is not that hard.

I found The Third Lynx and the earlier book in the series Night Train to Rigel to be substantially lighter than his other material. The universe seemed contrived at first, but then as I read I discovered that it is contrived in many ways, according to the internal logic of the story, so in my view all’s well.

The characters are interesting, the background is intriguing and off the beaten scifi track, and the plot is good for an adventure story. As I said, it isn’t as engaging for me as the Conqueror series was, but that would be hard to accomplish in any case.

My rating for this one is a 4 pushing a 5.

Added Postie Plugin

have been learning to use my Palm Centro more from the road, or for times like right now when I have things shut down due to severe thunderstorms.
So I installed Postie, which massively improves post by mail. I haven’t found posting directly impossible but this is more convenient.
Watch for more short posts from the road. Note that the link is also a test.

Seven (or more) Deadly Words

. . . in book reviews. In this intriguing post, Bob Harris crafts a compelling list of words that all writers should eschew when they muse upon the content of a book they are about to review. Unfortunately, despite his best use of vocabulary, I found his post neither lyrical nor poignant. Try harder Bob!

Now I’m going to search on each of those words. I suspect that their only occurrences on this blog will be in this post. I must admit, however, that I both tend to use excessively complex syntax, and often words that are more obscure than necessary. I also fall afoul of (should that be on the list?) some of the words noted in the comments.

Update: I find two reviews on this blog that use one of these words, one for “compelling” and one for “intriguing.” You will find “craft” in an entry about picking up a book at a craft show. The remaining four don’t occur. I’ll have to try harder! Also, HT to evangelical outpost.