- Series: Liaden Universe Novel Series
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc. (September 29, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1892065037
- ISBN-13: 978-1892065032
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,633,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Dare (Liaden Universe Novel Series) Paperback – September 29, 2007
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On the other hand, if you plan to read any of those novels, buy this one now! You will be desperate to find out what happens next....
Now for the specifics:
As with each of the other novels, a new character is focused upon. This time it is Pat Rin. He shares approximately equal time with Miri and Val Con. We also get to see more of Anthora.
The hated Department Of Interior has their final showdown with, well, just about everybody at once. Lots of action.
My biggest problem with the novel is the extended Surebleak sequence, which plays out like yet another Dashiel Hammet imitation. We've seen this before, many times. MANY times. It's done reasonably well, but not with enough originality to really justify it. I found myself rereading the novel and just skipping all those chapters.
The second biggest problem is that Yxtrang characters get a bit shortchanged. I thought they offered a great potential, which was mostly undeveloped.
The third biggest problem is really more of a question: "Why do cat lovers always assume that everyone else buys into their fantasy?" But I guess if you can accept The Tree, you can also accept the cats.
Never fear -- the action is intense, the good guys win, and the bad guys turn out to be really evil. In the end, Clan Korval is ready to move on to new and greater adventures. As everyone knows, the reward for a job well done is ... another job. (This is NOT a cliffhanger ending. It is simply a hook on which to hang a new novel or two if the authors desire.)
I have a couple of small problems with this series. The travel times between planets seem much too short for a society where the major tradeships spend years on their rounds. Also, coincidence plays a major part in series events, but that could be explained by a most ancient (and huge) ally of the Clan. Another reviewer's comments about a breeding program spring to mind.
In addition to these five novels, the authors have also written several short stories in the Liaden Universe. "To Cut An Edge" describes the first meeting of Val Con and The Edger, "Breath's Duty" illuminates Daav's Balance and the Battle of Nev'Lorn, and "Changeling" tells of Ren Zel's "death" before he signed on Dutiful Passage. Hopefully, these and other short stories will be published as an anthology to join the series. Until then, they are most available directly from the authors.
It's a good idea, if you're not familiar with the series, to read them all; while this is a rousing good space opera in its own right, it is even better if you have followed the series. You could get by without the _Pilot's Choice_ volume, but you really need, at the very least, _Agent of Change_, _Carpe Diem_, and _Plan B_ to get the most out of _I Dare_. Agent and Carpe are two of the three novels in the _Partners in Necessity_ volume, so if you get that, you'll get _Conflict of Honors_ too. That's the first one I ever read of the series, initially published as individual paperbacks.
The series starts with Er Thom yos'Galen and Daav yos'Phelium, in _Local Custom_ and _Scout's Progress_. _Conflict_ takes up with Shan yos'Galen, Er Thom and Anne's son. _Agent_ takes up Val Con yos'Phelium, Daav and Aelliana's son. The rest of the books so far, including _I Dare_, continue to follow Shan and Val Con, and the various employees, friends and lifemates they drag into the ongoing story of Clan Korval. In _I Dare_ many of the separate threads from the previous volumes come together. We have the Juntavas, the interstellar Mob who actively appeared in _Agent_; we have the return of Daav; we have also Shan and Val Con's cousin Pat Rin as a major character. (That's Val Con and Pat Rin on the cover.) Surebleak, the planet Miri Robertson was born on, suddenly shows up again. Korval has already noticed that the Department of the Interior is trying to take over Liad and eliminate their family; in this book, Korval actively confronts the Department.
A large chunk of the book is taken up with battles and battle strategy; however, this didn't turn me off, even though I'm not that gung-ho on war stories. And there's a larger element of fantasy in this book than in the previous ones, in that more and more people turn out to have psychic powers. I'm not that much of a fan of psychic powers, but I didn't mind them here- it's just one element that keeps the story moving right along. The plot is extremely brisk; don't skip a page!
The end of the book does contain what seems to be a clear lead-in to a next book, since a new character shows up... I won't give away the details. One of the nice things about this book, and this whole series, is that there could be short stories written about it for years to come, because there are so many interesting characters. What exactly was Daav doing all those years at a Terran university? Whatever happened to Aelliana Caylon's younger sister? Can we find out more about Richard Davis, Anne's brother and Shan's uncle? Did Vin Sin chel'Mara ever reform after being exiled? More about Clonak ter'Muelen! Oh, and Nova yos'Galen - by the end of this book, all the current generation are lifemated save her; does she ever get true love? There are a few short stories that were only ever published in chapbooks; if Miller and Lee would write a couple more short stories, there'd be enough for an anthology, and I'd be sure to read it.
It's difficult to convey how much I like this series, and I like this book the best so far. If you like humor, romance, and battle in your science fiction - if, say, you already like Miles VorKosigan (Lois Bujold) - then I'm sure you'll like the Liadens!
Most recent customer reviews
More info on turtles needed
But it is good read yes