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Children No More (Jon & Lobo) Mass Market Paperback – June 28, 2011


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Children No More (Jon & Lobo) + Overthrowing Heaven (Jon & Lobo) + Slanted Jack
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The fourth installment of Van Name's SF series featuring nano-enhanced mercenary Jon Moore and sentient assault vehicle Lobo is deeper and more thought-provoking than its predecessors. When a friend asks Jon and Lobo to help her in a mission to free abducted children that are being forcibly turned into soldiers, the heroic duo agrees – but the seemingly straightforward mission gets complicated quickly. Jon is reunited with an old love interest, and the planetary government makes some unethical resolutions. Seeing the psychological aftermath of the abused kids brings Jon back to his own childhood and the horror he endured. While the Jon and Lobo series is still powered by breakneck pacing and military-nuanced action and adventure, this latest volume marks a clear evolution; Van Name's focus on character development, backstory, and the reintegration of some past characters makes for a much more cerebral – and enriching – read. (Aug.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Mark L. Van Name is the creator of the popular Jon & Lobo”series of groundbreaking military and adventure SF thrillers and a renown short story writer whose works frequently appear in year’s best anthologies.  He’s a former Executive Vice President for Ziff Davis Media and a national technology columnist.
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Product Details

  • Series: Jon & Lobo (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Reprint edition (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439134537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439134535
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark L. Van Name is a writer, technologist, and spoken word performer. As a science fiction author, he has published four novels (One Jump Ahead, Slanted Jack, Overthrowing Heaven, and Children No More) as well as an omnibus collection of his first two books (Jump Gate Twist); edited or co-edited three anthologies (Intersections: The Sycamore Hill Anthology, Transhuman, and The Wild Side), and written many short stories. Those stories have appeared in a wide variety of books and magazines, including Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, many original anthologies, and The Year's Best Science Fiction.

As a technologist, he is the CEO of a fact-based marketing and technology assessment firm, Principled Technologies, Inc., that is based in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. He has worked with computer technology for his entire professional career and has published over a thousand articles in the computer trade press, as well as a broad assortment of essays and reviews.

As a spoken word artist, he has created and performed two shows: Science Magic Sex, and Wake Up Horny, Wake Up Angry. He also frequently leads humor panels at SF conventions.

For more information, visit his Web site, www.marklvanname.com, or follow his blog, markvanname.blogspot.com.

Customer Reviews

So it's actually two good yarns.
Baslim the Beggar
I look forward with interest to a new series of books - that will tell us if he has a future.
Duke
The author seems to ignore simple solutions.
MatthewB

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Cawthon on August 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Children No More" brings back characters from earlier books for a new adventure, this time on a planet riven by civil war. Brutal rebels conscript children into their efforts, drugging them with stimulants and turning them into juvenile killing machines. Alissa Lim, Jon's former comrade-in-arms, needs Jon and Lobo to help her liberate these young fanatics and give them a chance at a normal life as children, a chance Jon never had. Maggie Park, the woman Jon desperately wishes he could love, is back as the representative of the Children of Pinkelponker, a mysterious group of people descended from inhabitants of Jon's long-lost home world and Slanted Jack reprises his role as the consummate con-man. Sergeants Gustafson and Schmidt, on leave from the SAW, play significant roles, as well.

The book is actually two stories in one volume, running parallel to the main story is something Van Name fans have wanted: Jon's back story. We discover how Jon went from a gentle giant with the mind of a small child into a more-than-normal teenager with the help of his sister, Jennie. We follow him through his subsequent banishment to the Dump, an island for misfit mutants. We get to know Benny, the boy who sacrificed his own life to save Jon's and learn why Jon was sent to Aggro, the prison satellite. We learn the book's title applies equally well to both stories.

Mark Van Name is delivering a message in this book: it's his comment on the evils of forcing children to become soldiers long before their mind and bodies are prepared for the rigors and stresses of combat.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Baslim the Beggar on August 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Other reviews will give you a more detailed plot outline, so I will not do much of that here. This book will make a great deal more sense if you have read the previous books. I say that because there is implicit in the actions of several characters the knowledge of their characters which we learned about in the previous books. If you haven't read the earlier books, you will have to trust that Jon knows what he is doing. In any case, it is still a ripping good yarn as they used to say.

In the previous book in the series, "Overthrowing Heaven", Jon helped Lobo to deal with something from Lobo's past. Now it is Jon's turn. Because one child must be saved, hundreds of others must also be helped. I expect that someday we may learn who that special child was, and how it was known he was where he was, but that is because I have read "Slanted Jack". How Jon became a warrior is revealed in great detail in this book. How an innocent (someone who would do not intentional harm) became the complex, conflicted warrior Jon of these novels is a different story from Ender's War, but just as intense. That's one part of the story, and it helps the reader understand why Jon not only comes to help the children, but why he stays when the combat mission is over and the really dangerous part begins. So it's actually two good yarns.

How do you turn child-soldiers back into children? I think Mark Van Name has captured one point very clearly. Tell them, "It's not your fault!" How many times in less harrowing circumstances, do you hear about kids blaming themselves for their parent's divorce, or other traumatic events? It's a brilliant point, but it is not overstated.
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By MatthewB on December 9, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The problems with this book:
1. Toni Weisskopf is not Jim Baen.
2. The moral to this story is that lethal violence is almost never the answer even in self defense.
3. Solutions should be as convoluted as possible, simple solutions should be ignored.

This can be explained by saying I don't think Mr. Baen would have published any past the second book without more work on the story.
Jon Moore has a great power which the author doesn't seem to understand...The amount of Science in his Fiction is really limited.
The author seems to ignore simple solutions. Jon Moore could have easily killed the politician early in the story. The reasoning for it was there, he was going to get a bunch of kids killed. The story instead depended upon this convoluted plan to manipulate the politician and get the kids off of the planet.
These books are not very good due to too many problems with the plot and character development. They are not horrible, just bad. I would advise others to look elsewhere for a good book. Good luck finding good literature.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Combines science fiction with a realistic look at the plight of child soldiers. Interesting, touching work from a good author, and the latest in a series I've enjoyed very much.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is slightly different than the rest of the Jon and Lobo. It typically happens something like this. Jon some way finds a conflict. He and Logo travel the galaxy discovering information and following leads while entertaining banter back and forth. He determines a battle plan that might involve him and friends he meets along the way. Shots are fired. There is a neat plot twist. Jon and Lobo go on vacation.

This one novel leaves quite bit of the galaxy adventure part out for a different direction. In this novel, Jon emotionally connects with kids that are "soldiers". He wants to help them. Through his actions and reflections, he comes to somewhat of a peace with his own past. Not to say that this isn't a good book but it a little more heavy than the typical Jon and Lobo books.
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