17 April 2013

Addiction Thy Name is Liaden: A Review of The Agent Gambit, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

You know what happens when you try to read four books, okay five books at once, not much that's what, not much. There is reason behind my madness.  Novel one is being read because of my enduring commitment to the SF genre, the second because not only is it about dragons but it is the second in a series about dragons. The last three gems fall under the thin disguise of research.  A reading quest research driven pursuit that is leaving me with withdrawal symptoms  and scheming ways to step out of life to read more.  Addiction they name is Liaden.

This is where I move from objective blogger to full-out crazy SF Dune Girl Geek.  What do you mean you see no difference?
The Agent Gambit by Sharon Lee and Steven Miller  is a conveniently bound omnibus containing the novels Agent of Change and Carpe Diem.  While Lee and Miller proclaim on their website that there is no true book to start with when exploring the Liaden Universe, this is a pretty good place to begin. Both books could be read as one, with the movement from one to the other flowing concurrently.  \In other words, we get to discover what will happen to the two protagonists that we so completely fell for in Agent of Change without having to endure years of waiting for the next iinstalmentto be penned.  \Don't you love publishing companies that have the interest of the fan at the foremost of their decisions.  

It may be prudent to explore the Liaden Universe more thoroughly for those of you not current to this blog or wicked awesome operatic space-inspired novels.  Liaden is a race of people from the planet of Liad. They are smaller in stature to "Terrans" (Earthlings from Earth that in this time frame is more mythical than real) exhibiting elvish physical characteristics. Please note, Liadens are not elves nor is the series perceived as fantasy.  I recommend you not to throw either term out to any true fan or they most likely will lose their shit on you.  The people of Liad are a clan society bound by strict family obligations and perceptions of face. Melant'i, the preservation of keeping one's personal self worth and more importantly their clan,is the moral authority of the society.
Up next!

While the Liadens are the stars there are some other important aliens that provide cultural, and political depth not to forget, romance, drama, horror and intrigued to the universe. The first briefly mentioned is Terrans who I will refrain from discussing as they basically are us and aren't we all tired of us?   The second are the hunters. The Yxtrang you will quickly learn to discover bring a nice level of terror to the series.  As it is with any ever expanding, limitless universe, new aliens keep popping up.  Having read three books in the Liaden Series before I made it a life mission, it was not until I picked up The Agent of Change that I met the T'carais.  What we have here are basically turtles, extremely amazing 8 feet tall turtles who most likely have the best names ever in the history of literature.  The clutch leader's abbreviated name is"Twelfth Shell Fifth Hatched Knife Clan of Middle River's Spring Spawn of Farmer Greentrees of the Spearmakers Den: The Edger.  I am so curios to know what his full name is but apparently it would take me better part of the day to say it.  

The question remains should you read this omnibus.  The easy answer is hell-yeah.  The more complete one is dependent on whether you like full-on, in your face space opera with no real resemblance to our universe and is okay with that.  These books are not rocket science,  you are  not going to expand as a human by reading them but you will relax and have fun.  Any critical reviews of the series will come in time.  This post is all about freaking out for freaking out sakes.