Saturday, August 11, 2012

Review: Cobra Alliance: Cobra War: Book I

Cobra Alliance: Cobra War: Book I
Cobra Alliance: Cobra War: Book I by Timothy Zahn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Military Science-fiction Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: I received the final book in this trilogy (The Cobra War Trilogy) in exchange for an honest review from Amazon Vine; I am happy to provide an honest review of this first book in the trilogy –which I purchased for myself – as well.

Synopsis: Earth had won its war with the Troft because of the Cobras, a guerrilla force whose weapons were surgically implanted, invisible to the unsuspecting eye, yet undeniably deadly. The Moreau family were the most famous of the Cobra warriors, but their descendent, Jasmine “Jin” Moreau Broom, is worried about the current attitudes of the Cobra worlds and their leaders. Generations after the planets were settled, not everyone on the Cobra worlds thinks that the Cobras are worth their high cost, and favor cutting their funding.

Then a new factor is thrown into the mix. Jin receives a message, sender unknown, delivered by a Troft messenger:
To the Demon Warrior Jasmine Jin Moreau:
Urgent you return at once to Qasama. Crisis situation requires your personal attention.

Years ago, a Cobra team, including Jin, had gone to Qasama at the urging of the Troft to counter a threat to other planets, both human and Troft. Jin and her family cannot think of a reason why any Qasaman would want Jin or any other Cobra to return to their planet. Moreover, the Cobra worlds have prohibited any of their citizens from traveling to Qasama, and backed up the prohibition with stiff prison sentences.

But the possibility of danger to the Cobra worlds is too important for Jin to ignore the message. She and her son Merrick, also a Cobra, book passage on a Troft ship to Qasama. But are they really going where their help is needed — or are they walking into a trap?

My Thoughts: It is very obvious that there was a huge gap in the years between the last book in the first trilogy (published in 1988) and this first book in the 2nd trilogy (published in 2009). Zahn’s writing skills have obvious matured, and there is also an obvious difference in editors, as this book correctly uses “try to” rather than the colloquial “try and”. This book is very fast-paced and a fast read – I went through it in a single reading session, barely able to turn the pages quickly enough.

I had a whole long paragraph about the cover, but have decided against all that – I will just point out that the cover image is grossly inaccurate and leave it at that. However, is it too much to hope for that the cover accurately reflects the book?

But that was really the only problem I had with the book. It is a very good piece of military science-fiction and a terrific kick-off point for the Cobra War series. My reading of these books will continue with the second book in this trilogy, Cobra Guardian.

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