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I read it, finally. Forearmed and forewarned about the "nothing happens", it was still very "nothing happens"-y. Nothing that could generate suspense wasn't resolved immediately, except for the plascrete, which was very background the whole time and did get resolved in a vaguely deus ex machina way. All in all, I have to agree with [personal profile] avanti_90: the book is above all mild.

It's also a book where I'd have been interested in the story of anyone except the principal characters. Kaya Vorinnis, dealing with bureaucracy and an amorous ghem-lord, the University people, Freddie Haines and her five friends, all the diplomatic staff, the military folks running around, etc.

The romance itself fell flat. It's the least convincing romance Bujold has written. (Admittedly, I've never read the Chalion stuff, and am hazy on Ivan/Tej, but still.) I suppose she was trying to show ~a comfortable relationship that just adds sex~, but fell flat. At the start, Jole and Cordelia both claim to have fallen more distant from each other, but no real change in distance seems to happen. They just go from being friends with identical narrative voices to being friends with identical narrative voices who have unappealingly written sex with each other. Also the whole kids!!1! thing was verging on self-parody. Cordelia wanted six children, well, okay. She already has two. She proceeds to start six more, for a total of eight. It's ... well, idk. Cordelia's thought processes have always been alien to me, especially when she's involved in a romance plot like Shards of GJRQ. (Barrayar, she was mostly being confused about Barrayar and thus more relateable.) (Miles, OTOH, I grok much better, funnily enough.) Jole, again, seems Cordelia-like in mental voice (and physical, to the point where I occasionally had trouble determining who was saying what) and turns even more into a Cordelia expy, what with trying to become a scientist and desiring to raise loads of kids.
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440 pages, copyright 1988 (and its age shows), Space Opera.

I finally finished it. It was enjoyable but I wouldn't rec it due to major Problems: the non-Guardship female characters were few in number, and the ones with the most screentime caused me to wince, especially Valerena; I loathed all the Tregessers, especially Blessed, who should have died in a fire on page 1; the "hero" who I sensed I should cheer for was really fucking bland; and there was too much telling without even explaining (there's a network of Guardships who've upheld the law for eons, and it's just stated that this guy's troops have them secretly following a plan, without even any exposition).

spoilers )

Mostly, I was left pitying WarAvocat, whose enemy was a total Gary Stu.

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Sharing Knife quartet, Lois McMaster Bujold
meh )

Long Earth series, Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter
nice except ISSUES )
(discussion with [tumblr.com profile] sixth-light )

Nexus, Ramez Naam
enjoyable )

The Goblin Emperor
, Katherine Addison
okay )

Confederation/Valor series, Tanya Huff
nice aliens and nice BOOMs )

Heris Serrano
, Elizabeth Moon

lacking in exposition and/or BOOM )

Spin State, Chris Moriarty
gripping )

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All you need to know of the plot: A lost human colony, Darien, is rediscovered. However, it has a warpwell, created eons ago to for a war against the Dreamless. Mainline humanity's allies, the Sendrukans, have Ominous Plans regarding Darien. Also, there is a side-plot involving a guy from another lost human colony trying to get to Darien.

The Review )

Recommendation: Don't read the trilogy when I can read it for you! (Buy some Asimov, it'll infuriate you less.)


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