Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review | Ally (Wess'har Wars) by @karentraviss

Title: Ally
(Wess'har Wars)
Author: Karen Traviss
Length: 402 Pages
Released: March 2009

The worlds orbiting Cavanagh's Star are in turmoil.

Civil war on Umeh—ignited by outsiders—threatens to annihilate the teeming masses of a grossly overpopulated planet. On Bezer'ej, the handful of native aquatic creatures who survived extermination must take extraordinary and terrible steps to ensure the future of their kind . . .

And the interlopers from a distant planet called Earth can only watch the chaos they helped, in part, to create—knowing their home world will be next to suffer.
The day of reckoning is rapidly approaching when the powerful Eqbas will remake the Earth at the expense of its dominant species. And Shan Frankland—once a police officer, once human, now something much more—must decide where her loyalties truly lie: among the gethes, on a planet she once called home, or here, where a dying species presents her with a new and unexpected crisis.

So, why does it only get 4 stars from me? It's something I call the time test. If it takes me more than 2 months to read something, it probably isn't all THAT compelling. This work does indeed cover much of the same ground as the previous books. It's still good, and still very much worth the read. It is not, however, Traviss' best work. I tried to think of the major plot points and couldn't come up with much. It's a lot of waiting and staring down and developing the cultures. The newbies, Skavu, struck me as stereotypically psychopathic, which is unusual for Traviss, who tends to excel at well fleshed out cultures. The two flavors of Wess'har are nicely developed, and she's done a lovely job of pinning down the flaws in humanity. Her descriptions are apt and lively. The language is fluid if a bit crude. If you're not a Karen Traviss fan, shame on you. If you are, you probably already bought the book anyway. If you aren't but plan to be, get cracking reading.

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