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The Sea Without a Shore (Lt. Leary) Hardcover – May 6, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
I just think Adele Mundy is a thoroughly interesting person, introvert and socially inept, or maybe ignorant, though she is. Given her history how can we expect anything else. She has become stronger as the series has progressed and in this book she is more central than Daniel Leary.
Her continuing reflections about her life and place in her ongoing world open her up to us even more than before. I really enjoy her interaction with and views about Miranda, Daniels fiancé.
Adele's thoughts in particular about her inevitable death, something she seems to almost welcome as a penance for those deaths she's caused that haunt her are revealing. As are the various facets of her friendship with Daniel, a friendship that has become her lifeline, her touchstone back to her humanity.
Her views about Tovera her bodyguard cum servant are intriguing, delivered as they often are in a one dimensional reflective tone. Yet Adele or 'the mistress' as the spacers call her is anything but one dimensional. She is extremely focused and highly motivated especially with anything that touches on Daniel or the work that her other employer Mistress Bernis Sand, head of Cinnibar Intelligence Service, hands her.
It was fascinating to me when Adele, stepping outside her comfort zone does something that humans normally do, that is, wave a friend [Daniel] over, simultaneously telling Tovera that she, Tovera is a good role model.
'By now Tovera was better at pretending to be a normal human than her mistress was.
But then, Adele had never seen the point of the exercise.Read more ›
The historical antecedants described in the preface (5th century BC) are the basis for Drake's tale, but there's nothing that doesn't translate into today. The existential problem that seems to overwhelm Drake is entropy (everything dies in the end,) but his characters work out of an ethic that seems to honor individual effort, despite it's ultimate futility. Which is exactly as should be.
The plot is complex. Leary and Mundy seem to be working towards a confrontation, but it is neatly resolved. There are no utopian dreams, and the level of bloodshed is minimized. Which is characteristic of Drake's works despite their focus on warfare. Presumably, hopefully(?) the waring factions will spend a couple of generations avoiding "peaceful" genocides once the external military forces have been removed.
I think a little too much is made about Tovera (Mundy's body quard,) where in the past David let actions speak for his characters. In fact, I suspect that the "sociopath" profile Drake struggles with is more a modern fiction than anything substantial. Which might be why he has trouble portraying her. It's not too hard seeing Tovera in any number of our recent cabinet officers. But they employ others to do their dirty work and probably can't shoot worth a darn.
Daniel remains a likable character, with a few self-admitted, endearing flaws around the edges but retaining all the qualities one expects in the standard hero. Adele, however, has grown increasingly repulsive. In one instance, she regards an enemy captive who happens to be a farmer recruited for the opposing side as a contemptible fool, but why? She knows nothing of his personal characteristics -- only that he is a farmer. Does that, by itself, make him a fool? A fool, by the way, who is expendable without second thought. And, while dismissing her fellow humans, she constantly reminds herself that she is, after all, Mundy of Chatsworth. One hoped at the beginning of this series that this intially awkward, scarred being would find redemption. Instead, she has become a self-absorbed fascist. Her personal servant Tovera, meanwhile, has always been a cartoon character of sorts -- a psychopath who jokes about killing while being slavishly devoted to Adele. Indeed, everyone in the crew dotes on "the Mistress" to a rather ridiculous extent.
The plot of this novel is thoroughly confusing. I found it difficult to keep every faction straight in my head, and it didn't take me too many pages to simply not care anymore.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A superb military/political space opera. David Drake has in this series expanded beyond ordinary military action and delved into the politics and policy behind the shooting. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
I've loved all the books in this series. I rate it at least as good as the Honor Harrington series (though a lighter style), but I eventually lost interest in Honor Harrington... Read morePublished 2 months ago by JDV
Good writing, fun read. Brings to mind the Patrick O'Brien novels, which I think is the point.Published 3 months ago by Shawn P Vine
David Drake' series should be the new Raiders of the Lost Ark/Star Wars movie franchise !Published 8 months ago by geoffrey di mauro