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Trang: Book 1 of the exciting Trang series! Paperback – February 27, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I won't try to summarize the plot, but will instead try to distill my opinions on the book's strengths and weaknesses.
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.
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.
I finished this book and was disappointed that the next one in the series wasn't available yet.
"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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fun, funny and well written. This novel has a nice balance of varied male and female characters, and plenty of aliens to go around. Read morePublished 9 months ago by nickelsmum
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I was afraid that hurt was going to drag and be to political. The characters are good and are developed well. Read morePublished 11 months ago by MIKE ROBERTS
This is the first book of a series. It revolves around Earth finding aliens that are friendly and wanting to to engage in learning about each other. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Demonite
Very well written and enjoyable. If you like clever diplomat-speak you will love this book. I did!
If you need blood and guts or heaving bosoms pick something else. Read more
I can't wait for the next book. This story is just plain interesting, and very easy reading.Published 23 months ago by Todd Burgess
Finally a science fiction book in which the alien races are truly differentiated from one another, and battle scenes are not just endless inventories of equipment. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Melinda
Trang is an excellent read, and contains one of the finest presentations of the task of a diplomat that I have ever read. Read morePublished on July 9, 2014 by The Professor
I'm afraid that this book didn't hold my interest at all. It's written as if it's a children's book, reminding me a bit of the old Gross and Dunlap juvinile fiction from the... Read morePublished on March 29, 2014 by Kindle Customer