Month: January 2019

Short Reviews: Death of a Musketeer, A Star-Wheeled Sky, Night Without Stars

Recent reading, all recommended:

Death of a Musketeer by Sarah Hoyt (writing as Sarah D’Almeida).

This is not my usual reading material, but refreshing: a mystery set in the world of Dumas’ Three Musketeers, excellent in recreating the atmosphere. While I have not read the originals, the characters are striking and the pacing modern. Old-fashioned ideals of honor, faith, and loyalty live again.

The modernized version of courtly language and behavior is a key attraction here. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series. Timeless and suitable for escaping the modern age, yet featuring several strong female characters who are admirable or villainous yet period-realistic.

A Star-Wheeled Sky by Brad Torgersen.

Engaging, readable beginning to a series. Humanity has escaped the Earth on generation ships and stumbled upon the abandoned alien Waywork connecting a network of star systems. Earth long since lost, humanity has split into warring factions fighting over the 50-odd systems in the Waywork – until one day a new Waypoint appears, and the land rush is on.

Space battles, believable characters, intriguing worldbuilding. Interesting throughout and concluded as a free-standing story well enough, but it would have been more satisfying if the next in the series were already available.

A Night Without Stars by Peter F. Hamilton. A Commonwealth novel, sequel to The Abyss Beyond Dreams, more tightly-written and less digressive than peak Hamilton and the better for it. It would be better to have read the Night’s Dawn and Void trilogies first, but these two stand alone fairly well. I commend the author or his editors for cutting down the bloat of earlier works, which may have been the result of publisher pressure for longer works in the print era.