Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sister Time, by John Ringo and Julie Cochrane

Sister Time, by John Ringo and Julie Cochrane

I picked this book up out of the bargain bin not knowing anything about it. Turns out it is the tenth book of a series, so I was thrown into the middle of an epic without any back story. Ringo and Cochrane are good enough writers where I stayed enthralled with the plot even when I didn’t understand the many references to previous events. The several alien species all have broad traits that both underscore the alienness and give the reader a good visual: Darhels are elf-like businessmen, Indowy are small green furry engineers, Tchpth are philosopher crabs, and Posleen are reptile warriors. I got the idea that previous books in the series give a much more thorough look at the aliens, but these high-level descriptions allowed the story to progress without chapters of exposition.

The plot here reads like a James Bond story where MI6 has been replaced by an Irish clan, Q is an alien, and Bond looks like Pamela Anderson. It rolls along quickly while still providing enough exposition that a new reader (like me) doesn’t get lost with the rich history. The action sequences were exciting, although the conclusion was a bit abrupt in my opinion. The hints at the larger scope the series covers, though, are intriguing enough that I suspect this won’t be my last trip to Ringo’s universe.

First Sentence:
The dark figure dropping over the edge of the building could have given lessons in camouflage to a Himmit.

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