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A Few Good Men (Darkship Book 3) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 528 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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A Few Good Men takes that trope and blows it into flaming chunks that reach orbit. It starts with a jailbreak, with a the death of a tyrant, and the chaos that envelops a long-statist country as different factions fight for control, for friendship, for ideals, for greed and power. Luce Keeva, son of a tyrant sentenced to solitary confinement, gets swept to freedom during someone else's jailbreak, and find himself unprepared for the plots, power, and politics that land on him as the sole surviving heir. His household and many of his subjects desperately want him to take over his father's shoes so they don't get murdered when the ruling cabal annexes and carves up his country. The cabal wants him dead, because he knows too much and still holds no loyalty to them. Half a dozen different would-be rebel groups want him dead or as a figurehead. His own household, the only people he can trust to want him to survive, are revolutionaries themselves who want their glorious new chance at another government. Rebelling against the cabal, against the power to which he was raised but doesn't understand how to hold, may be the only way out.
But survival itself is chancy in the scramble to fill the power vacuum, and what started with an explosion has a lot more blood and blasts in store. When idealists get their hands on power, their beautiful theories meet harsh realty. Some adjust their theory, and others are determined to adjust reality, by as many deaths as need be. Dante just want to keep his household and his friends alive and safe, but their own allies are as much of a danger as their enemies...
Whether you read this for the action and the explosions, the complex and thoughtful examination of various forms of government, the hilarious one-liners, or the slow, sweet romance story that snuck into the background of it all, this is a book worth reading and rereading to catch the many layers of what's going on - especially after reading the other books in the series.
So the revolution starts with the idea of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Should this ideal only be for the proscribed religion who had carried the flag of freedom for centuries? Or was it for all men? Would they follow the American or French model of liberty?
As Luce is pulled into the USAians revolution, he learns the history of his family line.
I received this book on Thursday, and decided to read a few chapters before bed. The story completely took over and at around 2 a.m. in the morning, I was trying to frantically finish the story so that I could get some sleep. The book has a very satisfying ending. Plus I am pretty sure that I am going to read this book again and again.
In A FEW GOOD MEN we pick up the Darkship timeline between the events told in DARKSHIP THIEVES and DARKSHIP RENEGADES, and follow it until we are past the end of the adventures of Athena and Kit as told in those two volumes. Lucius Keeva is the disreputable scion of Good Man Keeva, one of the 50 hereditary rulers of the totalitarian oligarchy that Earth of the far future has become. Our story opens with Luce serving out his sixteenth year in solitary confinement, his seventeenth of overall imprisonment when a jailbreak occurs, the same jailbreak we read about in DARKSHIP THIEVES.
Luce returns to the world, reeling from his incarceration, which his father had ordered 17 years ago, and still traumatized from the death of his best friend and lover, Ben Remy. Over the course of the rest of the novel, Sarah skillfully reels us in to a world on the brink of total anarchy, torn between the despotic rule of the Good Men, whose secret history readers of the first two novels already know, and which Luce must discover, and the underground revolutionaries who have waged a secret war against them in the hopes of reestablishing a government of, for, and by the people. Luce also has to come to terms with his own existence, and decide for himself the man he will be, how he will live his life, and whom he will share it with.
The book is a space opera - the key word being opera - so there are elements of drama, tragedy, and of course, romance. In this particular case, the romantic aspects of the book involve two men, each reeling from a tragic end to their own relationships with their lovers, and the inevitable tension between them. What I like best about the way Sarah handles this, and the way she handles all the relationships and romances in her books, is the way she focuses on the emotional connection between people. It's very well done.
A FEW GOOD MEN is a rollicking good tale from cover to cover. I thought the writing was paced perfectly. Sarah uses an allegory to talk about Liberty, casting the ideology most of us would consider to be circa 1779 Federalism as a long banned religion of "Usaians" whose members all have names that will be very familiar to students of history. Sarah informs, educates, teases, and amuses with her clever puns and turns of phrase, and the way she treats the quest for Liberty as a religious matter, rather than a political one (or perhaps, not just a political one). I *highly* recommend it - of everything I've read by Sarah Hoyt so far, this is my favorite.
One final note in closing, because my it is relevant to a future post. I consumed these books both on Kindle, and using the whispersync and Audible to listen to them. The narrator is Basil Sands, who I think does a great job of voicing the characters and pacing the book. In my upcoming review of THROUGH THE FIRE, I'll comment more on why that's so important, but what I feel comfortable saying here is that readers, or listeners are in for a real treat no matter how you choose to consume the book. So please, do me a favor and run out and buy a copy.