Saturday, August 25, 2007

SPORTING CHANCE by Elizabeth Moon

I am posting my latest book review here and on my website just to see how it works out and how much traffic I get. I hope you enjoy it!

The military and science fiction seem to be an inseparable pair. There is a huge tradition going back to Jules Verne of military-type organizations within the science fiction realm. Some are more about the military than the science and some are vice versa. Ms. Moon's book is neither - its about the characters. This is the first book in her now famous Serrano Legacy series which takes usually females military characters out of their military environment and plop them down in a conflict that is intense, somewhat personal to the heroine, and draws heavily on what they were taught in the military. They tend to be excellent reads, this is definitely space-opera at its best. And space-opera is exactly what this is.

Heris Serrano is the latest in a long family tradition of military officers, but she makes a mistake and shames her family (although the shame should be on her superior officers, military politics is what it is). She ends up out of the military and piloting a ship for a wealthy, well-connected patroness. Some of the patroness' progeny (her niece) becomes involved in a scheme to hunt humans (as the hunted) and Heris comes to the rescue using her ingrained military tactics, her native intelligence, and her high sense of moral duty. As in all good space-opera, the hero wins, the villains get their just deserts, and we move on to the next adventure. This isn't a new theme, but its told well and from a very different perspective.

This a very good space opera. Its entertaining and suspenseful. It is one of the only series of military fiction in this genre that has exclusively female protagonists who are strong, smart, honest and whoop the bad guys through ingenuity and intestinal fortitude. It heartily recommend it.

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