October 08, 2011

A Meeting at Corvallis by S.M. Stirling

I'd have to give this installment of the series 3 1/2 stars. It was certainly better than The Protector's War, but not as good as the first book, Dies the Fire. These books should really be read in order, but the main thing about them is they center around an event called the Change. This change made things completely different for human beings. No longer do guns, other weapons, electricity, or other modern objects work. Those who have eeked out a living in this world are strong indeed and include Juniper McKenzie's wiccan archer clan, Mike Havel's Bearkiller warriors, and their enemy The Protector and his vast holdings and enslaved minions.

In this book, a war that has been brewing finally starts. It is the McKenzie's and the Bearkillers, along with their allies who must defeat the mighty horde of the Protector. At first, battle seems to go easy with luck happening for the good guys. But then, in the lull of quiet, Rudi, the son of Mike Havel and Juniper McKenzie is kidnapped along with the daughter of the Protector and the tide changes. They must defeat a large group of the Protector's army and stage a rescue for Rudi with limited resources. This is not all that goes on however. The Rangers are also featured in this book, a group made by Astrid (Mike's sister in law) and Eilier (Juniper's daughter) that helps protect the innocent and scout the forest. They are a valuable team and do a lot of good with winning allies for the group.

The characters are not as fully developed in this book. Rudi is a joy to read about as he is a very interesting character, but he does not feature in this book. The rest just didn't have as much description as they did before and seemed shadows of themselves. The writing in this book on the other hand is very descriptive for everything else. This causes it to be slow moving at parts and Stirling spent a lot of time on unnecessary scenes and people. Also, some readers may be taken aback at the genre of this book. I would classify it as Wiccan fiction, and those going into the book without knowing this, might not be ready for it as they were for a fantasy novel. It doesn't make it a bad book, it just might not be to some people's tastes.

I did like this ending of the trilogy and look forward to reading more of his books about this alternate history. Its an interesting concept and definitely one that should be explored.

A Meeting at Corvallis
Copyright 2006
622 pages

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