By Harry Turtledove
A Del Rey Book, 618 pp, 2000
That's right, after a bit of a delay,
I've returned to Harry Turtledove and his Colonization series. Why the
wait? While I enjoyed the first book, it wasn't quite as fast-moving or
action-packed as the Worldwar series.
Unfortunately, this one isn't much
faster. In fact, at times, it's rather boring. It has too many
characters not doing nearly enough to maintain any interest. The cover
also tells a blatant lie - JFK is pictures sitting in front of a
personal computer, yet he never makes an appearance, or is even
mentioned, in the book.
I'm told by a friend that the series gets
better, the action picks up, and the characters do more and are actually
interesting. I hope that's the case. I've already purchased the third
book, at my local used bookstore for three bucks, so I'm pretty much
committed to finishing the series.
Now, all that being said, there are some
positive aspects of the book. Kassquit, the human raised as a member of
the Race, is very interesting, as she begins to exhibit some very
human-like tendencies, while denying she wants to be more like humans,
or Big Uglies. That little plot took a stupid and far-fetched turn,
though, when she invites Jonathan Yeager aboard the Race ship so they
can mate. The two are consummating their first encounter when their ship
is attacked, though Turtledove doesn't tell us the outcome of that
attack, which is a major error.
Sam Yeager learns, at the very end, who
destroyed the colonization ships in the first book, merely by accessing
a database! Too bad the Race couldn't think of that. And also, President
Warren is the one trying to kill Yeager, which made even less sense.
Wait, I was supposed to be discussing the
positive aspects of the book. Well, something finally happens at the
very end, when Germany invades Poland and the Race pretty much
obliterates that not-empire. But Turtledove tells it from several points
of view, and often with characters discussing or learning about events
after the fact, not a very exciting way to describe war.
So, in summary, I will read the next
book, and then the final one in the series, but it may be a while.