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Mutineer (Kris Longknife) Mass Market Paperback – January 27, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
So first, let me lay out my biases. I am a big fan of the early Honor Harrigton books, less so of the later ones (although I read them religiously anyway), and I also like Weber's Shadow of Saganami series, where he follows people who haven't risen to the astronomical heights attained by Honor (and thus are free actually to head out into space and shoot things up). What I loved about the early Honor books is that the twisty plots and the character mesh so nicely. I also love the Liaden books, and consider them to be better written than the Weber books. Lately, I've been enjoying the Alex Benedict books and the USS Merimack books. What these books all have in common is interesting characters who are tossed into situations that call up the best and the worst they have to offer.
This is also the strength of this book. Kris Longknife is a vividly drawn young woman, and unlike many heroes of such novels, she is a realistically young 22-year-old. At the start of the book, she doesn't have a good answer for "Why did you join the Navy?" or more specifically, "Why will you stay in the Navy?" In the course of the book, she finds better answers. She has innate leadership skills, but she hasn't grasped the responsibility of command as deeply as she thinks she has, and the sequences where this is pointed out to her (first rather brutally and later very movingly) are well-designed. What's more, she learns from them, and the Kris who walks out of the book at the end is not the same one who walked in on the first page.Read more ›
- Good characters, well portrayed.
- Good action scenes.
- A neat technology, 'smart metal,' which lets ships change shape depending on what you need them for. Though we never really see how it happens--we just see before and after.
- The protagonist was probably an alcoholic as a child, something I've never seen done in literature before, but again the camera blinks and we later hear that 'maybe it was just the pills her mother made her take,' and she occasionally has a drink, and except for some angst it doesn't affect her.
- The Palm Pilot equivalents of the future with personalities. It's been done before, but it's handled nicely here.
- The title is poor, since Kris is only a mutineer for a few pages, about 350 page into the book.
- The name Longknife is implausible enough, but a kris _is_ a long knife. That's just over the top...
- Enemies are sometimes straw figures. After an initially convincing setup they often roll over and play dead as needed. Allies too--why wouldn't her father, the Prime Minister of her planet, investigate attempts on her life?
- Technology often appears just to do some job, isn't explained, and then goes away.
- In a similar vein, her great-grandfathers are over a hundred and still active, but the longevity situation is never mentioned and there are no other old characters.
- Somewhat muddled politics, only explained gradually over the course of the book.
- The family relationships are also only explained hundreds of pages into the book.
- Both of Kris's paternal grandfathers are named Longknife.Read more ›
The characters are pretty decent as well. I'm not going to call Kris Longknife another Honor Harrington by a long shot, but there are moments where she is very likable.
But the writing.... my god, the descriptive writing is weak and awkward. And the dialogue was equally awkward until I started imagining everyone talking with stiff upper crust British accents. Even then, there are a few conversations in the book (especially when the Highlanders show up) which I just could not stand to read for more than 2 minutes at a time because they were so cheesy.
I might give the second book a chance to see if the writer improves any and find out where the over-all story goes... but my advice for anyone considering this book is to wait until you don't have anything better to read, and then give it a chance if you're desperate.
Oddly enough, while I enjoyed most of the Honor series, most other military sci-fi leaves me yawning, including other David Weber books. But somehow, the snappy writing and enjoyable characters, boneheads included, make for a book with very few places where you can set it down long enough to grab a cookie.
The Laiden novels probably do a better job at character, of the people and the culture, and might edge this novel down to 4 3/4 stars in comparison, but there are darn few 5 stars on my list to quibble over a tiny margin.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really wanted to like this book but for me there were several problems. The main character had major problems but for me there were 2 big ones. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tamara Greer
Great book (series), nice to have a heroin to follow for a change! :-)Published 3 months ago by Haraldk Kenneth Loe
Very well thought out and written. A great caste of down to earth characters. The story line is compelling with lots of action and adventure. Read morePublished 6 months ago by S /F OLD READER 1962.
The story deserves 41/2 stars at least the editing deserves no more than a 2. I split the difference. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
I did not understand all the military jargon; however I really enjoyed the family sentiment explored in the book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kindle Customer
A really great read.. the only predictable thing in this series is that Kris will survive to the next volume .Published 7 months ago by Albert
This is a fast-paced thoroughly enjoyable romp, first in a series, based on the unlikely event that a boot Ensign in the Navy would be able to escape a murder attempt, foil 'the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by D. Catanzaro
It's a bit high priced for an ebook so I hesitated a long time about buying it.
It's still high priced :) but I was not disappointed and immediately bought the second... Read more