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Coyote Rising Mass Market Paperback – November 29, 2005
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In the first novel, a group of interstellar colonists hijack a prototype starship named Alabama and flee a right-wing dictatorship to settle on the distant planet Coyote. Coyote is a harsh world with long and bitter winters and dangerous wildlife. The struggle to set up the first human colony on this planet is fraught with peril and makes for a great read. Steele recaps events from COYOTE nicely in COYOTE RISING, but I recommend reading the original first. It's like watching The Empire Strikes Back --- you don't need to see Star Wars to get it, but you will enjoy it more if you do.
In COYOTE, the first settlers fled tyranny on Earth and fought hard to explore the new world and build the settlement of Liberty. But the rulers of Earth have not given up on Coyote. They cannot. A majority of Earth has become uninhabitable, so mankind needs a new home. At the end of COYOTE, more spaceships are sent to Coyote with colonists and soldiers. The original settlers don't take too kindly to these interlopers led by tyrannical colonial governor Matriarch Luisa Hernandez, so they abandon Liberty and set up a new colony.
COYOTE RISING picks up from there, with the newcomers living in the now overcrowded Shuttlefield that has cropped up next to Liberty. Steele's strength is writing about things you actually believe can happen. The colonists are limited in what they can bring to the new world, so they must use the planet's natural resources. Most of the colonists live a brutal frontier life that many modern-day people would find unbearable.
The climate and wildlife on the planet Coyote are bad enough, but the new colonists also must deal with the oppressive Matriarch Hernandez who rules with an iron fist. Many newcomers abandon their miserable situation and join the rebels --- aka, the original colonists Steele introduced to us in COYOTE. Hernandez eventually pushes the rebels too far. Led by Alabama's Captain Robert E. Lee and Coyote's first explorer, Carlos Montero, the rebels lead a revolution to free Coyote from the new oppressive government. Steele is a talented action scene writer. They unfold at logical points and help move the plot. They aren't there only for the sake of action. He puts you into the minds of the characters and the heat of battle with just enough of the right details.
The novel is chock full of fascinating characters and vivid descriptions of this alien world. However, I did have one small problem. Both novels began as short stories serialized in Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. Throughout both novels, it feels like you're reading a series of short stories with a common backdrop. Readers are reintroduced to characters they have met before and some of the previous action is recapped several times --- making redundancy and repetition an issue. However, this is a minor flaw and I still thoroughly enjoyed COYOTE RISING. In fact, on some level it was interesting to see the same event explained from different characters' viewpoints.
I read most of COYOTE RISING in a small Laundromat not far from my apartment in Los Angeles. The novel whisked me away from the dreary setting and transported me to the world of Coyote. I was so completely lost in the story of old characters like Carlos Montero and new characters like prophet Zoltan Shirow that I didn't hear the buzzer when my laundry was done. So if you're looking for a good read that will let you escape this world for a new one, then pick up COYOTE RISING.
--- Reviewed by Sean Doorly
The Western Hemisphere Union has sent five colony ships to 47 Ursae Majoris. The Glorious Destiny brought a thousand colonists and Union Guard to Coyote, as did New Frontiers, Long Journey, Magnificent Voyage and Spirit. Coyote has not become overcrowded, but Liberty definitely becomes overpopulated and many colonists were forced to camp in the Shuttlefield slums.
In this novel, Allegra DiSilvio arrives on Coyote in the Long Voyage. She is a composer who has been blocked from her creativity and has come to this distant planet looking for new sources of inspiration. After a long and futile search for a place to pitch her tent, she finally sets up near a swamp. Her neighbor is Cecelia -- Sissy -- Levin, mother of the Chief Proctor. Allegra gains Sissy's trust, makes a flute for her, and is soon teaching Sissy to play the instrument.
Benjamin Harlan is intrigued by a religious cult that comes to Coyote on the Magnificent Voyage. The cult leader, Reverend Zoltan Shirow, claims to be a prophet of the Universal Transformation. He looks like a bat, with wings and an animalistic face. However, Ben has his eyes mostly on Greer, a very good looking woman who seems to like him.
James Alonzo Garcia was a famous architect prior to his conscription for the Coyote Colony. He arrives on Magnificent Voyage and is quickly put to work designing a township for Shuttlefield. After the Matriarch approves his plans, Garcia is given the task of designing a bridge over the East Channel connecting New Florida to Midland.
Clark Thompson is a former colonel in the Union Guard. After arriving on Coyote, he soon leaves Shuttlefield and founds the hamlet of Thompson's Ferry. When Allegra, Sissy and other members of the Coyote Wood Ensemble arrive at his village after fleeing from the Matriarch, Thompson sends them across the ferry to Midland. Then he prepares his militia for the Union Guard troopers that are following the musicians.
Captain Fernando Baptiste is commanding officer of the Spirit of Social Collectivism Carried to the Stars. When the revolution begins, his ship is the only Union vessel in orbit around Coyote. Since Captain Baptiste is the senior officer present, he commands all military forces in the system.
This story is about the revolution of the Alabama colonist against the Matriarch and the WHU. The Union Guard outnumber the rebels and have heavier equipment. The satellite communications system aboard the URSS Alabama, has been disabled. The only advantages the rebels have are a better knowledge of the terrain and the planet itself.
This novel is based on eight short stories published in Asimov's SF Magazine between May 2003 and December 2004. These stories are arranged in chronological order, with each depicting a scenario in the evolution of the Coyote Federation. The next volume in this trilogy is Coyote Frontier.
Highly recommended for Steele fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of space colonization and the fight for independence.
-Arthur W. Jordin