Tag Archives: military

Review: The Ramal Extraction: Cutter’s Wars

The Ramal Extraction: Cutter's Wars
The Ramal Extraction: Cutter’s Wars by Steve Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On the whole, a fine adventure book that was enjoyable to read. The characters were easy to grow attached to, and in the end I really found myself wanting to know more about them and their journey. The only real negative is that at times it felt like there was random filler material stuffed in to bulk up the story. Granted, this was somewhat explained within the context of the story, but it still left the story with some mildly disjointed sections. In the end though it was a very enjoyable read.

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Review: The Forever War

The Forever War
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok, I admit that it took me forever to finally get around to reading this book. Many years ago when I first heard of it I didn’t give it much attention, thinking it to be nothing more than a cheap knockoff of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, one of my all-time favorite books. Now, years later, when I find myself once more in a mental place where I am enjoying military themed science fiction I felt that perhaps I should give it a shot. Now I am very glad that I went ahead and read the book.

As is typical of books of the era in which this was written, the book is full of social commentary, and in this case there are a few observations and treatments of social issues that were undoubtedly dangerous to even postulate at the time of writing. Even today a couple of the topics are a bit touchy, but at least today authors can talk about these issues without much fear. At the time of the writing of this book…not so much.

The writing style itself was often wry, but certainly not dry. At points it felt rather unpolished and unrefined, but considering this was some of the earliest published work for this author and certain allowances and expectations can be adjusted. For the time it was very much on par with similar books, and I have to remind myself to not be overly critical of the writing not living up to current standards.

I won’t go into any kind of detail on the plot since you can get all of that by simply following the link at the top of the review which takes you to the page for this book.

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Review: Sassinak

Sassinak
Sassinak by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love “comfort books,” and that is what this book is for me. I originally read this series almost 20 years ago, and reading it again brings back that time in my memory. So to me these books aren’t just about the story that they tell, but they are also as much about what they remind me of from my life as a younger man. I freely admit that this has some bearing on my rating of the book.

I won’t go into the story itself as that is more than adequately covered in the book description on Goodreads, and if you want to read the story synopsis you can easily read it there.

Now as to the book itself, it is a quintessential example of military space opera from the late 80’s and early 90’s. The story is more about characters, the growth that they undergo, and the trials and tribulations that they endure than they are about the military aspects of the story. This was just before military sci-fi took a turn and became military fiction with a sci-fi veneer, so we don’t have the detailed battle movements, the elaborate ship maneuvering, or any of the other trappings you might expect from a military book.

The story is really quite well written, and I personally cannot tell what author wrote what part of the book. To me the writing style in the book speaks more of Elizabeth Moon than it does of Anne McCaffrey, though frankly, both are beloved authors of mine. The character development and progression is deftly handled through the three distinct phases of the primary character’s life. There is a nice balance between the different elements in the story, and I really can’t complain about the writing style. Sure, it isn’t Hugo material, but it is a solid, easy to read story with just enough complexity to make it interesting.

If you are looking for a good “comfort book,” or just a nice trilogy to read you can’t go wrong by trying this one out.

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Review: The Death of Sleep

The Death of Sleep
The Death of Sleep by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Depending upon what way you look at it, this is either the first or the second book in the trilogy. Either way it is well worth the read. This was written back in the day when Anne McCaffrey was fostering new authors, and co-authoring books with them. Ah, the last glory days of Anne McCaffrey before the slide in quality she finally started to have in her writing.

At any rate, this is a great book typical of this era of science fiction writing, and has long been one of my favorites. I actually own a copy of this book, but it is currently buried in storage so I checked out a copy from the library instead of trying to dig it out of storage. Books like this I tend to return to every few years simply because they are such a joy for me to read. They aren’t heavy on the military or the combat, though there is some of both, and are heavy on character interaction and character growth, both of which are things I tend to enjoy in my reading material.

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