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Trang: Book 1 of the exciting Trang series! Paperback – February 27, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Trang Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mary Sisson is an award-winning writer, editor, and journalist. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English and American Language and Literature from Harvard University, and she has a master’s degree in Journalism from New York University, where she received the Edwin Diamond Award, the department’s highest honor. She has contributed to award-winning books ranging in topic from terrorism to food to history to technology. None of this means she’s actually any more qualified to write about aliens and space Marines than the next person, but she carries on regardless. See what’s she’s up to by visiting marysisson.com!
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Product Details

  • Series: Trang
  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456523430
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456523435
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,047,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
We all know what aliens look like - cute little fellas like E.T. or powerful hunters like "Predator." Mary Sisson sets up a new world, populated by a wide variety of alien species that don't look, think, speak, or act like TV or movie aliens. And, that's the best part of "Trang." Sisson creates a universe of largely polite alien interaction on a space station created by the Hosts, as part of their religious heritage of protecting a space portal recently discovered by Earth. The DiploCorps, based in 2118 Beijing, sends Canadian diplomat Philippe Trang to establish contact with the alien races - the first human to visit the station. He is accompanied by a protective unit of Special Forces, hard-core, foul-mouthed soldiers led by Mission Commander Shanti, a cloned Amazon.

Trang begins a "standard" diplomatic mission, attempting to learn about the various alien races, eventually becoming embroiled in the usual areas of international (or interspecies) dispute - power, primacy, trade, space, history, the future, and religion. While Trang struggles to understand the alien races, he also struggles to deal with his Special Forces minders, particularly Shanti, who proves to be more than she seems. She and Trang become entangled in Host prophecy as they try to save the Host world from an ambitious competing race.

"Trang" was a fun read, nothing deep, probably offensive to those put off by abundant obscene language on the part of the Special Forces troops. Trang isn't a terribly interesting character, but the alien life forces are a fascinating group, from the eager-to-please, spiritual hosts to the hovering, silent White Spiders. A good airplane book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ms. Sisson delivers an interesting and engaging take on several science fiction tropes: The space station shared among not-always-compatible species of intelligent beings, first contact, interspecies diplomacy, and alien religions' interaction with humans.
I won't try to summarize the plot, but will instead try to distill my opinions on the book's strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths:
Interesting characters, both human and non. No cartoons here.
Aliens who are really aliens, not humanoids with nose and forehead makeup.
A good, solid, plot that actually goes somewhere and does something.

Weaknesses:
Slow start (the plot doesn't thicken soon enough).
It seems like the story kinda goes off the rails for a little while in the middle. It might have needed a mean, nasty, cruel editor.
The climax has a bit of a deus-ex-machina feel, although it does offer intriguing possibilities for the next book.

Bottom line:
I finished this book and was disappointed that the next one in the series wasn't available yet.
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By CJG on September 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
First off, full disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it. Second, I get offers to review lots of books, but this is the first one I can remember liking well enough to finish and post a review. When we read a book, the author is asking us to trade some of our life hours to read it, and most just aren't worth it. This one is.
"Trang" reminds me a bit of C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner series, with just a dash of Farscape thrown in. However, it is definitely its own story--I'm just saying, if you like the Foreigner books, you'll probably like Ms. Sisson's "Trang." There are buildups of tension followed by quick releases. It's a book of fresh ideas, believable characters and strange but fascinating aliens.
One of the best things about Trang is Ms. Sisson doesn't have her intelligent characters suddenly spout or think nonsense in order to further a plot point. This is fantastic and seems so rare in books. Character motivations and actions seem both consistent and real for that particular person.
There are minor editing issues in the book but I've seen as bad or worse in major publisher books, and they don't take you out of the story.
As I said, I received "Trang" without cost, but immediately upon finishing, I looked up and paid for the second volume, "Trust (Trang)." I was eager to spend some more time with these people in this universe. It's worth it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My rating of this book does not take into consideration the formatting problems. I have no idea how it was originally formatted, but on my Kindle DX it has no indentations and four line spaces between each paragraph. The cover does not appear on the downloaded file and there is no table of contents.

I read the sample and was interested enough to download the whole book. The author has good basic writing skills which makes me hope that she perseveres in this career.

The book opens with alien life being discovered due to a bureaucrat trying to keep his government funding. Then the next scene is set several years later in Beijing where a young diplomat is at a party prior to becoming the first representative of the human government to come in physical contact the aliens in an official diplomatic capacity. There's some hints of a back story here where the young man, Trang, was described as a hero in a prior posting. He flies to Titan station, then he joins the aliens with a group of special forces who are to provide his security. After that nothing really interesting happens for what seems a very long time.

I think the author failed to trust her readers. I'm a long time science fiction reader and I'm used to being dumped into the middle of an alien world and finding my way around, much like Trang. The novel was too linear-- It trudged from point A to point B, where I would have started Trang's story with a scene probably 6/7s of the way through the book when Trang, on medical leave on earth, is wakened from sleep by an implanted alarm due to an emergency back on the alien station. Much of what happens in the beginning could be told in flashback as Trang meets up with the special forces leader-- who does have an interesting story-- as they head back to deal with the emergency.

There is really is a germ of a story here-- I'm intrigued by the white spider creatures walking around on the ceilings-- but it needs a lot of work.
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