Friday, February 10, 2006

Booknote: Northworld

Title: Northworld
Author: David Drake
Publication Information: New York: Ace Books, 1990
ISBN: 0-441-84830-3
248 pages
Genre: Fiction
Subgenre: Science Fiction, Military Scifi

Commisioner Niles Hansen is in the middle of a hostage situation when the Consensus sends for him. Without much of an explanation, they take him from his work to send him on a new mission. The Consensus rules over 1,200 worlds, except for Northworld. They have send fleets, and none have returned. It is up to Commissioner Hansen to use his resourcefulness and solve the mystery. The book jacket advertises this novel as a novel of a world at war. It sounded like a great premise. However, after 60 pages or so, I just ended up skimming the rest of the book to get to the end. It was very slow at times, and after a while, it had a "been there, done that" feel to it. Drake, in an author's note at the end, says he drew on some Icelandic sagas for the plot. I think as a reader I will stick with the sagas and skip this novel. I had heard of Drake as an author to watch in this genre, and this was just a let down. The novel is first in a trilogy, but based on this, I am not picking the others up.

I would recommend instead Joe Haldeman's The Forever War. I have heard Elizabeth Moon is good for military scifi, so I may give her a try. I will let readers know.

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