Thursday, August 9, 2012

Review: Cobra Strike

Cobra Strike
Cobra Strike by Timothy Zahn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

Disclosure: I received the 6th book in the series (or 3rd book in the 2nd trilogy) in exchange for an honest review; I have purchased these earlier books on my own, but am happy to provide an honest review anyway.

Synopsis: Will the COBRAs turn mercenary under Troft command? If anyone had told Jonny Moreau the Cobras would one day take orders from the alien Troft, he would have laughed without humor. He'd lost too many friends during the Troft war, though the Cobras triumphed in the end. Now, though, the Troft were trading partners – and they feared what might be a mutual danger. A new race, ruthless and tenacious, that threatened human space as well as Troft. And the offer was territory – five new planets for the overcrowded Cobra Worlds. Jonny Moreau's son Justin would carry the Moreau name to danger... and learn on Qasama that it takes more than a Cobra father to make a Cobra son

My Thoughts: This book moves its focus onto Jonny’s sons – Corwin, who has followed into his father’s political footsteps, and the identical twins Joshua and Justin. Again, there is an old-school sexism that amuses the heck out of me, since this is supposed to be way into the future – I guess the conservatives win! I also couldn’t help but notice the anti-conservationism approach of the characters in this book toward the native wildlife on the planets they colonize. Rather than trying to find a way to live with the native species, they set out to basically exterminate them. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed this back in the 1980s when they were written, as there was a very different mindset than now about this issue, but I surely do notice it now! Even scientists in this book are heard to insist: Shoot it, shoot it! However, toward the end of the book and in response to the Qasaman and mojo threat, they sort of redeem themselves in that respect.

Speaking of the mojos, those are some really interesting birds; I would have liked to have had all questions regarding them answered, but the overall situation was a bit too tenuous, so I’m happy with the outcome.

I must say I was incredibly impressed with the character of York, a Marine, and a truly brave and noble human. He endures a real trial and comes out of it with a healthy respect for his enemy – additionally, he is not afraid to admit his fear, nor is he so worried about others’ perceptions of him that he would risk himself unnecessarily. All-in-all a brilliant bit of characterization; it’s a pity he’s not a more major character.

A fast-paced book, in which the characters face some tough decisions, and show that it is indeed possible to win a war, of sorts, without firing a single shot. Great bit of military science-fiction.

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