Friday, November 30, 2007

Ragamuffin - Tobias S. Buckell

Time to get all mongoose-man space opera on our alien overlords.

Buckell has done something good here : improved with a second book in the series. The writing is better, and you are thrown into the story straight away. Where the previous book just scraped in for a 4, this is a solid 4 all the way, and maybe a little bit more.

The main character to begin with is an enhanced human, and has been imprisoned for anti-alien activities. First thing to do when you get out of jail is to kill one of 'em, of course, and hence she needs to get away fast.

More than one human faction wants to do something about the ruling Satrapy and things accelerate when the Satrapy decides that they would rather have humans not be alive anymore.

The main character Nashara is even more surprising than she seems, and as the action bails into space things become a little Peter F. Hamilton.

There's a wormhole network that functions a little like a cross between a freeway and a railway, and with the introduction of this element you begin to realise how this novel will tie into the previous book, which it does around half way through that makes it all more clear.

Hopefully this does well, as Buckell has a normal length novel here, not an animal killer sized series. If he can help show people will still buy those, along with people like Scalzi and Williams and others, then this is a good thing.

He could have actually thrown a few extra pages in at the end perhaps, but I think this is a case of keeping you keen to find out what is going on and wanting more, so possibly deliberate.

All in all, very entertaining.

4 out of 5

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