Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Solomon Family Warriors

Solomon Family Warriors
Solomon Family Warriors by Robert H. Cherny

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclosure: Mr. Cherney offers this book for free from his website; he has no expectation, but I am happy to offer an honest review.

Synopsis: This epic science fiction saga (470,000+ words) is offered free as an incentive to buy my later works. It follows four generations of a space traveling family who, if all other things remained equal, would rather be left alone.

"It's like growing up in the circus, only more lethal."

My Thoughts: This is a very long book – on my Nook it was 1203 pages long. I was very excited to read it, as I love a story that really gets into the characters and is willing to be told as it needs to be told. I was hooked almost immediately – this is like the best of Modesitt’s space operas rolled up with a good David Weber story. The Solomon family’s adventures start with Greg Solomon and Avi Bardwell Solomon, on to their children Rachel and Wendy and eventually includes Avi’s mother Rose. Greg and Avi were pirate interdiction pilots who eventually turned to shuttling refugees from the religious persecution of the Swordsmen and helped set up a planet on which people could fight back against them. Raising Rachel and Wendy in this environment caused the girls to grow up as warriors, engaging in their first official combat at the ages of 16 (Rachel) and 14 (Wendy). They eventually moved on to the Jewish settled planet before the girls returned to Earth to attend the Federation military academy. I could probably go on for paragraphs outlining basic plot, but what I’ve covered here is maybe the first quarter to third of the book. The pace never flags – sometimes covering years within a few paragraphs, sometimes stopping and covering events on a day-to-day basis for awhile before skipping on. A multi-generational story like this is not easy to tell in a way that maintains the reader’s attention, but I think Cherney does a good job with it.

There were parts of the story I was unhappy with, on a personal level that had to do with not liking how certain plot points were resolved. This was not due to any problem with the writing, but just in how I, personally, felt about the people involved. Authors are incapable of pleasing all people all the time, so I definitely do not count that against this excellent piece of military sci-fi. I was, however, downright stunned at the ending – after all that, to just end it in the middle of what could have potentially been another story really surprised me. I hope that Cherney had finished this story in a sequel or something, because I need to know what happens! If you like space opera and military sci fi, and if you have the time, I highly recommend this excellent story.

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