- File Size: 5294 KB
- Print Length: 456 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1973320495
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Blue Bedlam Science Fiction; 1 edition (November 14, 2017)
- Publication Date: November 14, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B077GM6X81
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,199 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Valence (Confluence Book 4) Kindle Edition
|Length: 456 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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I go more for a review of the feel of the book and leave the details to others. As in the previous books there is a fair share of geek humor that provides some lightness to the story. It can't all be doom and gloom when you're out to save the world from BEMs*.
This falls right in line with the main thread of leaving earth, visiting aliens and now the home coming. Time is the issue that drives the story and time as they say is relative. It is time as seen by different cultures and time as controlled by what happens during space travel. It is also time that provides the twist at the end.
We get more aliens and new (bio) technology but the need to return to earth is growing; and pressing the group into interminable waiting is the bureaucracy of aliens cultures. There is obviously some poking fun at the nature of state and world governments as Jane tries to get galactic support for the earth in the coming battle.
The side story of a young earth girl (girlz rule!) helping via subverting the government and sharing the data Jane left is a good YA novelette in itself. That she is also a person of color and very smart makes it a little more interesting. Though we have that in both Ron and Ajaya in the main story there is no indication of how their lives were different than Jane's or Alan's because of it.
There are 3 major battles , one a straight out win, one with results unknown and one wining by the seat of our all too human pants.
Another side plot gives a cameo performance by Darcy (from the newly renamed book 3) who is still searching for Adam. I want her to find him dang it. This, and the knowledge that winning the battle doesn't mean winning the war makes me believe we have another book on the way.
I nearly read this one straight through. It's fast and fun space opera.
*BEM = Bug Eyed Monster
Back on Earth, a smart little girl steals a part of her father's research, which was the transmission from Jane, and learns that it is a language learning program for Mensententia. She begins to learn it with surprising ease, and anonymously posts it online to the world. It spreads like wildfire, especially amongst the younger generations that are predisposed to learning the language, and it sets off a chain reaction that starts priming the world for the new, coming age. Her storyline follows her as she grows up, becoming more and more involved in the creation of a unified front against the Swarm as one planet.
Overall, the story was fantastically written, and we can only hope that we have someone like Jane and her crew if we need a representative at the galactic table.
Is it high art? No, this isn't Ursula K. LeGuin, this is more like Asimov with more forward momentum or Heinlein without the misogyny or problematic politics. The best character in the series is basically a space squid!
I do wish for a little more depth, and more exploration of the secondary cast (Pledor, Tinor, and Ryuiluk especially, as they've been on board the longest). And I do want to feel like the stakes are a bit higher. We don't need a Red Wedding, but after three books following this same cast of characters, they're starting to feel invulnerable. This isn't about dying, but the feeling that their failures and mistakes never have any serious long-term consequences.
Also, I feel like the main POV characters aren't growing much any more, with the possible exception of Brai, and I'd really like to see their assumptions and decisions challenged.
So, three stars for the writing, and five for the world building (I think it's a world I'd like to live in) and forward momentum.
The 3rd book was delightful btw - what a clever change in pace from the main story.
Please please please more more more :) It'd be really nice if she George R. R. Martin'ed this and just kept going. There's so much to uncover.
PS - After seeing Arrival (movie), I suddenly can't think of Jane without seeing Amy Adams (hahaha).
Most recent customer reviews
I really like the language that Jennifer uses certainly increased...Read more