Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2006
So, after nine books, what more can be said about Larson's ninth book in the Star Force series, The Dead Sun?
DEAD. SPOT. ON. That's what.
When a series gets this long in the tooth, the writer has earned his or her place, and the work is built upon the author's previous tomes in the series. IF the author is smart, they give their readers what they want. Larson does this in a major way in The Dead Sun.
But Larson has always done that in the Star Force series.
He drags me onto the battlefield, where blood and steel join in the exploding heat of combat. He slips me behind enemy lines into the heart of the enemy conflict, and shoves me into the shadows, watching as politicians and generals coldly set the fate of countless warriors ready to sacrifice their lives for sometimes blurred and shallow causes. Larson builds worlds, and sets the pace, tempo and rhythm of this stirring march into this incredible military scifi that is Star Force.
So, when I read or listen to Larson's work, I can't accept the tired rhetoric and hastily written pulp so many other authors think of as noteworthy military scifi. Larson rules this arena totally, and The Dead Sun reminds me why I started this series in the first place: Larson, as a writer, is, in a word, exceptional. His work lives beyond the written page, and above the audio data bytes. If you peruse the web, you'll find blogs, chat rooms and web pages praising, debating, arguing and exploring the entire series. Want to know when an audiobook series REALLY does its job well? When people argue over their favorite characters, declaring that their favorite should have their own books in the series, and even write fan fiction in the same milieu, giving the series life beyond the author's pen..
Larson's Star Force series has all of this, and in my opinion, leads the way in this genre.
But, what about The Dead Sun? I sense in this ninth book, that we may be seeing the end of this fantastic journey (I hope to God not!). If this IS the end, what an incredible journey!
However, this may only be the end of a CHAPTER - We'll just have to see where Larson takes us. But having said that, I don't give very many reveals or spoilers in my reviews. I try to give you very solid reasons to buy or not buy an audiobook, based on the merits of the author's style, talent, and passion. By now, you know my philosophy on this - I will not spoil the author's wonderful work by giving you sneak peeks into what happens - You have the brief overview provided by Audible, as well as many other reviewers that happily spill the beans about the audiobook. As usual, I'll get marks against me for not doing so. Still I must be true to my convictions.
However, I WILL give this one thing to you regarding The Dead Sun - A new generation may be on the horizon, a new ushering in, if you will, of a new chapter and direction in this fantastic series. In this ninth audiobook, surprises, revelations and changes await you.
And, of course, exceptional writing.
If you follow my recent reviews, I have been MERCILESS on a number of military Scifi writers - Want to know why? I listened to the previous audiobooks in THIS series.
And the listening has spoiled me completely.
Very well done, Mr. Larson.
Where blood and steel join, take me there again!
If you follow my reviews, you know that I like to roll the dice, to randomly buy a series on a whim, on the luck of the draw. Sometimes, it's a bust.
This time, it's a definite win, but if you go by how the series was created, you'd probably run in the opposite direction.
Here's one for the books: Jim Butcher is well-known for his "Dresden Files" series, created a fantastic fantasy series on a BET. Yep, a bet. Read on.
To quote the Codex Alera Wiki site, "the inspiration for the series came from a bet Jim was challenged to by a member of the Delray Online Writer’s Workshop. The challenger bet that Jim could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and Jim countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion", and “Pokémon”.
It DOES sound lame.
Well, Butcher makes it work. To the nines.
I've finished this first novel, and I'm enjoying this unique story line of humans with Roman similarities binding with elemental furies. Add unique races, backstabbing, politics, military battles, duels and an interwoven story line that pulls it all together, and you get a fantastic story that's simply put, a VERY VERY good listen.
The whole concept of fighting alongside elemental familiars used here is wonderfully executed. It's deep, well-thought magic-based partnership of man and magical creature is a pleasure to experience.
So, what about the writing?
Again, if you follow my reviews, you know that I love ENGAGING fantasy or scifi writing. Anything less won't do. And this is definitely engaging. There's great characters that plot, backstab, challenge, fight for their beliefs, devour their enemies, and celebrate their victories. You're taken on a great romp of a story, and in the end, isn't that what we all want in a good listen?
I know I do, and I so enjoyed this first audiobook in the series, that I bought the entire series. Yep. And I'm not disappointed with the decision.
Who knew that Lost Roman Legions and Pokemon could knock it out of the park?
Home run, Jim. Home run.
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