Monday, February 05, 2018

Book 6 Freedom's Landing vs Discovery

I finished off book 6 last night ! And then promptly bought and started another one.
The finished off book was Freedom's Landing by Anne McCaffrey who is much better known for the excellent Dragonriders of Pern series.

What did I think ? It could be a sign of continuing inward downward feelings but ... meh. You expect a book to have a beginning, middle and end. Even the books in the Dragonriders series that ran straight into another book had a beginning, middle and end. So too for the excellent Talents books. A book needs a beginning, middle and end.

This one had a beginning ... a second beginning ... more expansion on the beginning and ... eventually a bit of middle. I didn't detect a proper ending. This one is the first in a series of 4 and I'm not convinced that I'll acquire the other 3. But .... what's it about ?

Our central character is abducted along with an alien Catteni and dropped, along with about 500 others onto a mysterious planet. It looks benign. Tame even. As the story unfolds, we learn it is a farm planet for unidentified aliens. I'm sure those would come out more in the next books. (I have cheated and read the synopsises on ... that place online wot doesn't pay its taxes). This apparently benign planet has its dangers, which our main characters steadily find out about.

It's more about the limited interplay between the characters plus a light examination of the prejudices between people who are different and prejudices that are introduced by people who are just ... arseholes.

It's not nearly in the same league as those Dragonriders of Pern books that I grew up with ... but those were exceptional books from a hugely talented author. Perhaps the plan behind the book was what went wrong with this one. I don't think I'll be getting any more books in the Freedom's Landing series but it has made me want to re-read some of those books from long ago again. Like Restoree, like the Crystal Singer series (that had the word "unprintable" all the way through in a hamfisted effort of censorship of rude words !), like the excellent and always interesting Talents series. And the Planet Pirates series with Sassinak that drew my attention to Elizabeth Moon, who will get at least one entry in this series of 52 books.

The next book is the 4th in The Expanse series. An interesting start already. I must dive into more !

Discovery ?

This had a somewhat rocky start and is rather different to most Star Trek series. It's harder, grittier, befitting a series set in desperate war time against the most formidable enemy the Federation has come up against.

Discovery is following a definite series arc but it's doing that through episodes that lead you in gently at the beginning, that develop their story in the middle and give you a very definite "OMG WTH !" feeling at the ending as they pull out yet another surprise on you that you think you should have seen coming as the middle of the episode develops but is unveiled with a certain style and panache.

Not so much with the pre Xmas first half of the arc but this second half of the series has been exceptional throughout. I continue to watch with much curiosity. I want to see how they (spoilers redacted) ... finish it off.

Well worth signing up to the Netflixes for. I think I'll be binge rewatching it when the series is fully finished. It's not Trek. It's War-Trek. And they're doing a hell of a job with it.

Haha, just like what the people bringing the Expanse novels to the screen are managing to do !

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