Sunday, September 9, 2012

Book Bitch: Mission Earth 1 and Prophesy

Alright, first up:

Both Starbleached and Silver Bullet are free until tomorrow. The code for Silver Bullet is EE66Z and the code for Starbleached is ST83W . Make me feel happy today and pick up a copy. (Also Blue Ghosts, the lil' book for next month, picks up where Silver Bullet left off. So you just might wanna, ya know?)

NEXT! We are mixing things up today. Because I am doing my first indie book review! AND! I'm going to continue going through Mission Earth, because the sooner I am done the sooner I can do something else. So the next point on our itinerary today is INDIE BOOK REVIEW!!! YAY! Some poor brave soul offered up their book to my bitchery. And it was a pretty decent book too:

Book: Prophesy (Ghost Wars Saga)
Author: Justin Wilkerson

The good: Think Honor Harrington with the Belgariad thrown in for spice. All the space-war porn you can stomach, the story follows the newly crowned king Cuzak and his traitor brother while they battle it out for the crown of Specter.

Also? They're ghosts. No, like literally. Ghosts. The premise is intriguing, the plot is fast paced (with the exception of an info-dumping Princess Bride style prologue that could easily go bye-bye) and there's a couple concepts (such as the ghosts getting two consecutive lives. They totally get a Mulligan, guys) that are pretty damn cool.

The bad: Okay, I'm not going to go ape on spelling and grammar. It's an indie book. Most of us are on our own because, guys? Freelance Editors cost a lot of money and (more importantly) most of 'em are full of shit. There's a few good ones that I know of, but the first (and last) time I ever paid for editing, he made my book read like it was written by William Shatner. Suffice to say the book has a few issues and leave it at that.

More problematic are the names of people, locations and fauna. It is established early on that 1. this is an alien race that live for thousands of years. They have ducks. They have a King Rembrandt. They call Mars "Mars". I think the issue is with the prologue. It goes so far out of its way to establish the alien nature of this race that having names I recognize gives me whiplash. I have the biggest issue with the Scottish surname of a VERY major character. I just don't buy that the Scottish naming rules would evolve in a culture that 1. doesn't share the language, the culture, or the baggage and 2. is implied by that oh-so-problematic prologue to be at least several hundred, if not a thousand, years in the past.

The bitch: My reaction to this book was a little on the meh side. You know how I said it was like Honor Harrington? It is VERY like Honor Harrington. Like I had the thought process hey, I understand this because it has appeared in every Honorverse book ever, I wonder if the author knows this? pretty frequently. And sadly, the constant reminders of Honorverse did not exactly come off well for this book. Unlike Honor, though, we're not given a lot of time early in the book to get to like the characters. We don't get to see the brothers interact before they split off, we don't get to see what frustrates the King(s) or Queen(s). We're thrown straight into war-porn, which is alright if that's your thing, but it ain't quite mine.

All that said, I LOVE the concept of ghost-world. When Mars was thrown into the mix I literally thought OMG WE WILL HAVE THE GHOSTS OF MARS. I don't think I can in all honesty say CHECK THIS BOOK OUT IT IS AWESOME, but I can say that if Honorverse and hard-core sf warfare is your thing, Prophesy might be one hell of a fun time-sink.

It sure as fucking hell is better than Mission Earth.

Oh fuck, that means I have to go back into Mission Earth, doesn't it? FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUK!!!!

(PS. if you have an indie book you want me to review, or you are an indie writer, post suggestions over here and I will get to it eventually.)


I'm not even going to fucking bother numbering the chapters anymore. Between the "parts" and the fact that the chapters are often two or three pages long (NOT NEARLY ENOUGH, RON) I don't think you or I or anyone cares enough to give a fuck.

Next chapter:

Lombar Hisst and Soltan Gris are watching "the freak parade" through one way glass. Ajustable one way glass. I guess this was high SF back in 1984. Apparently the CIA (Coordinated Intelligance Apparatus. Remember, kids, this is SATIRE) takes criminals and turns them into circus freaks. Either figuratively--via implied torture training to make them fancy juggliers (crusty jugglers /Hot Fuzz flashback) or literally, through cellular manipulation. Selling these is one way they get money. God, Voltan must SUCK for grants. Haven't they heard of crowd funding? Anyway...

Dr. Crobe does the cellular manipulation. He is a greasy cardboard cutout Hubbardesque villian and He Will Get His. The trainer, however, is the Countess Krak. She carries a whip, and we are all going to pretend that her name is a reference to that, and not her ass, k? The Countess Krak is a terrible human being, Soltan Gris assures us. She trained children to rob banks via unknown methods that Soltan Gris knows involves torture. He does everything except accuse her of tormenting puppies. And then he points out that she is fucking gorgeous, but if you approach her, you lose a hand.

Also? She's nude except for a coat and a pair of shoes.

Nude female=evil. Evil female=sexualized. Good female=virginal LADY of perfection. L. Ron Hubbard, ladies and gentlemen: paragon of progressive thought.

Lombar wants both Crobe and Krak to train Jettero. However, because Mission Earth must fail, they're to do a shitty job of it. And then this happens:

Lombar turned to the Countess Krak. "And as for you, you perverted whore," he snapped her within an inch of him, "off the high tower you go if you teach this agent one single word, one single trick of espionage!"

1. I totally thought Lombar had broken the Countess in half the first time I read that
2. Again: Ron the progressive feminist I do not think so. And I don't give a fuck that this was written in 1984.
3. Jet seems to be doing a pretty good job at this espionage thing on his own. He's already got Soltan underestimating him, and that's 90% of the job right there.


Soltan Gris goes back to Spiteos and discovers Jettero and the evil murder evil evil guards sitting together drinking Perrier and eating junk food. Jett, ladies and gents, has tamed his guards. JET HAS TAMED THE EVIL CRIMINAL GUARDS TO BRING HIM PERRIER AND SWEET ROLLS.


Also, Soltan got a promotion, so he has to buy drinks for everyone in the nearest night club. Remember this. It is an important plot point in the next several chapters.


Soltan reminds us that the Countess Krak, that statuesque but evil evil beauty, is evil murder evil evil and they have to introduce Jettero Heller, Space Elvis to her so she can fail at teaching him how to be a spy.

Do you really need me to spell out what happens between these two?

NEXT CHAPTER (yes. Hubbard devoted an entire chapter to WALKING TO AN APPOINTMENT. This truly "bristles with excitement on every page!")

The Countess Krak is whipping her staff. Remember: Nude save for leather coat and shoes, and she is whipping people.

Way to let your bondage out, Ron.

HOWEVER, She is abusing her staff because she was sent a...sigh...Lepertige (LEOPARD. TIGER.) to train, and it had been declawed. And she is pissed as hell because DECLAWING CATS IS WRONG (actually, I agree with her on this. How would you like YOUR fingers amputated or paralyzed just because somebody can't keep you off the drapes?) She tells the staff if they ever give her another wounded animal, she will have it kill them. Then they leave and we go from this:

 Straight to this:
 She gets this deadly, wounded wild animal--newly shipped to her, so that it has no reason to trust her whatsoever--to put its maimed and bleeding paw in her hand so she can examine it. Then she orders its claws regrown and tells the scumbags who work for her to leave it the fuck alone.

Oh, my God, guys. We are so very, very, very fucked.


1 comment:

  1. It's 8:30 on a Sunday morning, and I'm sitting in a coffee shop listening to hipster music and drinking black sludge obviously brewed in an urn that hasn't been cleaned in way too long. Your choice of clip-art is the only thing that makes this morning tolerable.