Sunday, December 28, 2008

Book Review of the Day - Sandra McDonald

Well, the sequel to Outback Stars which was The Stars Down Under, was good, but not really my thing. The story goes from a military space opera adventure in the first book to a bizarre alien encounter metaphysical approach in the second. Kind of reminds me of the direction Orson Scott Card's Ender series took after the first book. The main female character, Jodenny, is as entertaining as ever, but the focus isn't on her. It's on her husband, Terry, whom I found to be somewhat annoying in the first novel, and who became even more needy and frustrating in the second.

As has been clear in previous entries, I prefer strong female characters, but that doesn't mean I want the males to be too weak, either. And while Terry's character has reasons for being so needy, he's just a little bit too out there for my taste. I guess I like my heroes to be larger than life. They can suffer, and fail, but not consistently. I want to see them rise above obstacles in the end, and while I wouldn't say the ending of this novel is complete defeat, I certainly wouldn't call the characters triumphant, either.

If there is a third book in this series, I will probably read it, but I'm hoping McDonald will return to the strength and action seen in the first book, and have a little less of the dream-like sequences which the reader is never certain are real or imagined.

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