Sunday, January 4, 2015


by Karin Lowachee

Story summary: Jos is captured at age 8 from his pleasant merchant-spaceship life by pirates. Nasty pirates. Meanwhile, humanity is fighting a war with aliens, and Jos escapes the pirates only to be captured by an human ally of the aliens. And then... lots of stuff happens. I don't want to spoil too much, because I really enjoyed not knowing what was going to happen next. But let's at least say there is a lot of training and character development and battles and slow healing through bonds of friendship. Good stuff. Although there's also war and abuse and broken trust and child slavery ... This is a gritty book.

Thoughts: This was compared favourably to Ender's Game. Considering Ender's Game is among my favourite books ever, I was greatly looking forward to this one. And, as expected, it didn't quite meet that mark. (Books compared to my favourite books rarely do.) But this is not to say it wasn't fascinating to read, because it was. It's much more emotional than Ender's Game, and less clever, both of which caused it to impact me less. But I also understood and sympathized with Jos in a way which is much harder with Ender. And there were still many similar elements in both books, which are some of my favourite things to find in a novel--training, character development, etc. mentioned above, as well as alien wars and military life--although they were treated in quite different ways.

Gripping, intense, with high levels of both introspection and action. I recommend it.

(Also, as a note, it's recommended by Felicia Day on Goodreads. So THAT'S cool!)

Grade: 4 stars

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