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Irresistible Forces Mass Market Paperback – January 3, 2006

3.4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
Book 3 of 4 in the Guardian (Putney) Series

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Editorial Reviews


Brimming with romance and adventure...a must-read. -- Romantic Times

About the Author

Catherine Asaro is a Harvard-trained scientist and the author of ten novels. Among her literary honors are a Nebula Award, the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award, Analog Readers' Poll, National Readers Choice Award, the Prism, the Sapphire, and the Homer. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Reprint edition (January 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451217241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451217240
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #860,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barb Caffrey VINE VOICE on April 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
IRRESISTIBLE FORCES is a collection of six stories from s/f and romance heavy hitters. The best story of the lot, "Winterfair Gifts," is by Lois McMaster Bujold, and features two minor characters from her Vorkosigan novels exploring a most unusual romance amidst a backdrop of mystery and intrigue.
Only caveat: I'm unsure if someone who hasn't read much of Ms. Bujold's Vorkoverse would understand this story. Since I've read every single book Ms. Bujold has ever put out, I cannot answer that question.
But I enjoyed it very much, and thought it well worth the price of the entire book. (I bought this collection solely for that story, and looked at the other stories as an "added bonus.")
Five stars, and I'd give it more if I had 'em. :)
After that, the stories get tougher to rate. I liked Catherine Asaro's story, "Stained Glass Heart," much more than I thought I would; it appears to be an outtake from her Skolian universe series, and has two young, apparently doomed lovers, a highly stratified society, and an arranged marriage. Love, family, duty, honor, and "keeping up appearances" are all themes in this story, and all worked.
The biggest problem with this story is that the protagonists are very young -- the older of the two is seventeen -- and the two youngsters are dealing with some very adult subjects. Nothing wrong with that, exactly, just a bit offputting considering that every other story in this collection deals with clear-cut adults -- most protagonists are at least twenty-five or so.
The plot is one we've seen before, with a few twists (I don't want to spoil 'em, so I won't go into 'em here). However, it's done well here, the science fictional bits are well chosen, and if it's representative of the Skolian universe as a whole, I might have to give Ms.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this for the Bujold story, but expected more finds among the other authors. Three decent stories out of 6 is disappointing. As suggested elsewhere, there seems to be a problem of authors who are good at 400 page novels scaling stories down successfully.
Bujold's story of Armsman Roic meeting Sergeant Taura is strong on character, a romance that doesn't end 'off to be married for 50 years', and revisiting old favorite characters. She's very good in the novella length, but this one lacked the surprising plot twists of, say, Labyrinth or The Mountains of Mourning--you know what the problem will be, who the villain will be, what the outcome will be. But her well-developed characters and sense of fun still make this a good read.
I usually like Mary Jo Putney, but her story didn't work well--one dimensional characters and no time for a believable romance to develop. It might have worked better as a full-length book.
Deb Stover was a new find for me, and I really enjoyed her story of a man sent back to Earth to help his widow find new love. I laughed a lot, and will look for other books by her.
Jennifer Roberson's tale of Robin Hood and Marian was enchanting--I usually find her work lovely but rather slow, so the shorter novella length worked to advantage here.
The other two stories were by authors I hadn't read before, Asaro and Beverly, and I couldn't work up interest in either. The protaganists of Asaro's story appear to be 14, which I found a little unsettling.
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By A Customer on February 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This anthology turned out to be very good. The stories cover a range of topics and styles and are worth the read.
Winterfair Gifts: Bujold. I haven't read a lot of Bujold, but this will inspire me to read more. It is a science fiction romp and good fun. It's clear a lot is going on with the world and universe Bujold has created and many more characters to get to know. The two romantic leads, Roic and Taura, are great. I really liked the author's style in telling a story.
The Alchemical Marriage: Putney. This story is very different from the first. It is a historical fantasy with mages who fight the Spanish Armada with weather magic. Putney pulled me in right away, with the hero initially imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1588. I wanted to meet more of these two mages. I'm curious to know more about the weather magic, too.
Stained Glass Heart: Asaro. This is probably my favorite, if I had to pick. It is science fiction, though with a little the feel of fantasy. It charms in its evocation of first love, which is complicated by an unexpected arranged marriage. The turn-about is well done, with the young groom betrothed to older powerful bride. I didn't want to story to end.
Skin Deep: Stover. What fun! Another change of pace, a modern fantasy about a detective who goes undercover as a male stripper. Meanwhile, the former love of the heroine (a cad) has to earn his place in heaven by helping her straighten out her love life with the detective. To his dismay, the cad comes back as a woman. Many delightful hijinks follow.
The Trouble With Heroes: Beverley. This is a powerful story and the most in depth. What happens after the war is won and the hero wants to come home, but his people fear him? The story gripped me from the start.
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Format: Paperback
IRRESISTIBLE FORCES is a compilation of six different love stories set in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction. While short stories are not my normal forte I had to try this one out primarily because it had Lois McMaster Bujold's WINTERFAIR GIFTS, the story covering Miles Vorkosigan's marriage. As a recent devotee of the Vorkosigan saga I had no choice but to pick it up and read it, I was not disappointed. While far too short for my tastes it was everything I could have hoped for. For any Vorkosigan fan this one isn't a want to, it's a have to. As far as I'm concerned it made the entire book worthwhile. Thou reader beware, unless you have read the other Vorkosigan books you won't understand half of what is going on and why. Although by writing from the perspective of a new Armsman, one who didn't know most of Mile's history, Ms. Bujold did a an excellent job of filling in pertinent information a newbe reader might need.
Not that the other five stories were a disappointment. Actually it surprised me how much I ended up enjoying them. Of course some were better than others but all in all a credible and entertaining job.
If you like short stories, especially romance and fantasy/si-fi then I think you will enjoy IRRESISTIBLE FORCES.
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