First, a confession. I have not posted any book reviews in quite some time. Partly I have been reading fewer novels, but mostly I have just let books awaiting review become part of the general pile of things that I'm not doing. In the hope of partially redeeming myself, I am at least going to review the book I just finished today: In the Courts of the Crimson Kings by S. M. Stirling.
This is a loose sequel to The Sky People -- same universe, but different main characters. Reading The Sky People first is not necessary. (This book does include spoilers for the earlier one, though, so reading in order is somewhat indicated.) It is a complete story in one book.
This is a rip-roaring B-movie adventure story, set in an updated-for-a-new-generation classic Mars of deserts and canals. There's a lot of really nice bits of detail in the world building, moments that just make me go "that's so COOL!" The characters are a little bit larger than life, and a little bit depth-challenged, but sympathetic enough to be engaging, and the hopeless romantic locked up inside me got all mushy over the love story. The plot is a little weak; things are just a little too predictable. And there are a couple of nits I could pick, since they poked into my suspension of disbelief a bit. But some of the images he gives us of what really advanced biotech could be like really activate my sense of wonder.
8 out of 10.
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