12 November 2012

Kitchen Sink: A Review of the The Unincorporated Woman

I read by default. Whatever is around I read. As a kid I used to pour over the milk carton during breakfast desperate to read something, anything. To avoid reading milk (not a page turner at all, do not recommend) I got into the habit of stockpiling books like Skyscrapers on my bedside table.  As I finish something all I have to do is lean over and grab something new. I really don't read up on what's coming or who is about to release the next big sensation either.   So it was a pleasant surprise to discover that the third in the Unincorporated series, The Unincorporated Woman by Dani Kollin and  Eytan Kollin was out and sitting on my kitchen table. (kudos to my father-in-law, my very own book fairy)  Is it odd to review book three in a series having not spent much time raving about the previous two? More still is it odder that my recommendation to read the entire series is based on the merits of the third book? 

Don't mistake me, all three books are stellar. In fact the first, The Unincorporated Man won the Prometheus Award (according to their bio) and more importantly this girl's heart. I don't want to ruin the books for you as there are a lot of " what the hell is going to happen" next moments. Simply put the human race has incorporated itself.   Upon birth you  own a small  percentage of shares in yourself. Life is spent raising your self interest so others will buy into you so you can raise money to gradually buy more shares of yourself in the hopes of attaining majority. Holding majority allows for freedom to do what you like and it is this rainbow of hope that people strive for but also keeps them bound to corporations. Fascinating universe, now take this perfect world, plop the only unincorporated man into it by way of cryogenics and voilĂ  you have on your hands a story, no wait, A Revolution, no wait, a war.   

Of all the books I've read this year, these win the Dune Girl's award for guts. I swear the Kollin brothers before they sat down to pen these stories must have made a pact. If we are going to write SF then WE ARE GOING TO WRITE SF. There is every possible form of sub-genre found in these books including the proverbial kitchen sink. That, in my books takes guts especially since the books are not muddled.

Let's review shall we. First off, there are asteroids. Billions of people call asteroids home in this universe. In fact, most have never been planet side, and do not find it odd that their horizons bend upwards.  (Living in huge rocks, curved...look it up). Then there is AI.    What was once the world wide web has evolved into something so all encompassing that avatars have become sentient unbeknownst  to the human race. Looking for some romance. Check. Love stories a-plenty. Too sappy for you, do not worry, the Kollin brothers make sure the realities of war effect all in a most tragic way. Like a good War with guns and shit.  Covered. Most  surprising to me  is how much I am enjoying reading about battles. SF is not my favourite genre so The Unincorporated Woman is expanding my reading world and may result in me trying out some other military inspired stories. Into space opera?, well congratulations you are about to read a roller-coaster of emotions as dramatic as anything that Lois McMaster Bujold has weaved.

To be brief, The Unincorporated Woman does wane a bit. The WAR is long and does take up the majority of the drama. But the characters new and old are so addicting that it is one of those series that you hope for more to come.    

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