Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review: Cobra Guardian: Cobra War: Book Two

Cobra Guardian: Cobra War:  Book Two
Cobra Guardian: Cobra War: Book Two 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 second book in the trilogy –which I purchased for myself – as well.

Synopsis/Back cover copy: Jasmine Moreau Broom, descendant of a now-legendary family of Cobra warriors, was on a secret mission to the planet Qasama, a world hostile both to the alien Troft and the human-colonized Cobra worlds. But she had hardly arrived before Troft starships descended in force to seize control of the planet. After escaping on a starship, she hoped to get help from other Cobra worlds. What she had not expected was that Troft forces had invaded the Cobra worlds as well.

Still, matters are not hopeless. The Troft are not a monolithic society, but are divided into tribe-like demesnes. One demesne has initiated hostilities, but other demesnes are doubtful of the wisdom of the war, and if the humans can win a decisive battle against the invaders, the Troft might side with them against the belligerent Troft faction.

And the key to such a victory may lie with a political figure on one of the beleaguered Cobra worlds. He has a secret that might turn the tide – if Cobra Lorne Broom can manage to smuggle him and his assistant off a planet occupied by the Troft invaders.

My Thoughts: This book gives us events from multiple omniscient viewpoints, rather than remaining with just the main one – with an occasional foray into a secondary viewpoint for a short period – this one spreads the action among Jin’s children back in the Cobra worlds, during approximately the same time period as the latter part of the previous book. I was appalled, but not really surprised, by the common city citizens’ opinions regarding Cobras, and the willingness of many of them to betray the Cobras to save their own worthless skins.

I should point out that so far, the first two books of this trilogy have taken place over about a three-week period, whereas the first trilogy took place over decades. I think this also shows a change in thinking between the 1980s – when a more epic approach was taken with these things – and modern-day thinking, which is more of a detail-oriented, character-driven plotting.

I think this one is my favorite so far. I really liked the Caelian wilderness scenes, and the Cobras from Caelian are just crazy enough to be fun. There was also a scene with a drone and a truck that actually surprised a laugh out of me – forgive me for the vagueness, but telling you more would constitute a spoiler; just see if you can notice it.

Highly recommended for fans of military science fiction (and despite what the critics say, this is not a space opera, although it is close). Be sure to check out this terrifically fun series of books!

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