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What did you love best about Blowback?
Blowback: Your weapon today might be their weapon tomorrow.
I have read the previous novels in the series, and this one builds on the others and exceeds them in both plot complexity and depth of characterization. Talia, Police Detective Nyquist, and undercover Earth Alliance Agent Zagrando all get significant time as point-of-view characters in addition to Noelle DeRicci and Miles Flint. Agent Zagrando & Detective Nyquist no longer seem like new characters making their story lines more interesting. Personally, I like DeRicci's gruff character better in small doses, so her reduced roll was appreciated.
I enjoyed that this book had the feel of a spy novel in addition to the expected police procedural style, heightening suspense and intrigue. In the best tradition of science fiction, Rusch continues to deftly explore the essence of person-hood, individualism, and discrimination using the future as her lens.
On the downside, this book leaves too many questions unanswered and that is disappointing. When the credits rolled, it seemed like it was three chapters too soon. To be fair, a significant part of the storyline does resolve, but unfortunately, without the all-important "why's" answered. The author has admitted that the story was "too big to fit" with which I can sympathize. The cliffhanger aspect didn't feel manipulative or purposeful. Sadly, fans will have to wait longer for several of the plot threads of this book to come to fruition.
Additionally, a couple story aspects don't quite ring true (e.g. two characters arguing essentially over nothing) other than as "because the script said so" excuses for conflict. While not too off-putting, there is no doubt in my mind that the author "rushed" this one and continuity suffered. I highly recommend the book even with it's flaws and I am very optimistic that there will be an appropriate payoff in the next novel. If you are new to the series, start with one of the first 3 books. Those who like this series should also enjoy the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
I very much appreciate the writing Rusch has done in these first 9 novels in the series. She pens a good tight plot, the story arc runs true and the characters evolve as the series progresses.
I do think, though, the story wouldn't have been nearly as effective without Jay Snyder as its narrator. A great voice able to bring all the different persona in these books together as well as adding excitement to the story line gives so much to these books. I'm so impressed with his work. I intend to look for other novels he's narrated because I like the sound of his voice so much.
Blowback sets the series up for further expansion - and I'm glad. Though it did leave a few loose threads, all in all the plot is nice and tight and we understand why things are progressing the way the author has taken them.
Character development is this authors forte. She's allowed her characters to grow in their development as the time goes. This is especially important with Talia, a young outspoken girl who deserves a spin off series one of these days!
The civilization Rusch has penned is believable. It's very enjoyable to imagine meeting the aliens she's imagined and shes done a nice job of working around problems that would come from a meeting of different specie. It's quite believable.
I suggest these books be read in order. I'm sure each is set up to be sort of stand alone, but starting in the middle might be confusing, though Rusch does add a brief backstory in all the novels.
Suitable for most ages...I was listening in my car with my 8 year old grand daughter at the point where cloning was being discussed. She asked questions and I turned the book off and we had a good discussion about cloning. Now she wants to hear more of these books..it's a big jump from Mary Osborne's Magic Tree House stories she has on her iPod to Si Fi but I'm ready to encourage her to take it if she wants. I started Heinlein's Juvenile Books at 11 so why not?
A good book with action and situations where the listener is given opportunities to think about what she would think in the same situation.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful