Copyright 2006 by
I first read this on the 30th December 2006.
This is the fourth book in Karen Traviss' Wess'har Wars series
and it is pretty clear that there'll be a fifth.
The alien Eqbas fleet are on their way to Earth to kill, to cull, 99% of
humanity, in order to prevent over-exploitation of Nature's
Meanwhile back around Cavanagh's Star, Lindsay Neville and Mohan Rayat,
condemned to death for genocide, survive. Their sentences have
been commuted to live imprisonment. But their sentence is
terrifying enough: to live in the depths of the ocean serving as slaves to the
remaining Bezari forever.
Shan Frankland has some personal issues to deal with. They're mainly
relationship issues like guilt and betrayal. She can sort those out while
the Eqbas fly Earthwards on their mission of mass slaughter. No rush.
Well, it's clear that the next book -the fifth - in the series will be the
one where the saga will be resolved. The options as I seem them are
- Eqbas will obliterate nearly all human life on Earth
- Humankind will have a trick up its sneaky sleeve and totally wipe the
Eqbas off the face of the map, probably detonating their home world as well
- Shan will pull a rabbit out of a hat and some nonlethal compromise will be
reached, such as Earth giving up fried steak or the Eqbas deciding to stop
Clearly the Eqbas are unnecessarily fired up about restoring woods for rabbits
to run and flowers to grow. Equally, Shan does seem to spend most of her
time worrying at her personal problems as if trying to shake a solution loose.
Meanwhile the real action of the book takes place in the background.
I have rather gone off this series. It is losing its impact. Karen has
got the same problem the writers of Superman
had: if you've got a superhero who can't be killed or even hurt,
how do you make him or her interesting?
Where's the risk and the danger. Where's the drama?
Shan, Aras, Ade and God knows how many others are all but
invulnerable superheroes, and that gives increasingly limited opportunities
Shan does make an interesting moral decision at one point, and there's a
suicide, oh and the "culling" of most of the Iseng from their home world.
But apart from that, not much happens.
Loaded on the 25th January 2007.