07 February 2012
War Maid's Choice
Rating: Buy ecRAC
Before getting to the book review I have a complaint to make about Baen Books. Generally they come across as an honest straightforward company who is in the business of selling you great stories. They lie. Just look at their misleadingly named Electronic Advance Reader Copy (eARC). If they were as honest as the image they try to project they'd call them EleCtronic Reader's Advance Copy or ecRAC. Just sayin'.
On to the book review, last night I read the ecRAC version of War Maid's Choice. Wow. I might have been a bit critical of the similarity of Weber's two sci-fi series but he's redeemed himself with the long awaited follow-up to Wind Rider's Oath. If you're a fan of Bazhell and Brandark you're going to really enjoy the War Maid's Choice.
The book showcases all of Weber's great talents in story telling and of course the trademark Weber info dumps. I generally don't mind info-dumps in a story. Info-dumps are a necessary evil as far as I can tell. Weber's worst literary crime is making the info-dump in the middle of dialog. Let me set the scene for you, two characters meet, the first says "Hi how are you?" Weber follows with seven to ten pages of introspection on the character's history and political position relative to his conversational partner. The other character responds "Fine thanks for asking, Now about the..." and the scene or chapter closes. If you think I exaggerate, then play close attention to the first seven or eight chapters. Despite this the book in general flows well and showcases Weber's characteristic ability to make the English language sit up and do tricks.
There is at least one thing you'll hate. The cover art is terrible. The cover says nothing about the book and is done in an attention deflecting palette of grey and blue. Now I've seen books that grabbed my attention with a similiar palette, but generally the title font is in an attention grabbing blaze orange. In my opinion Baen generally has great cover art and yes I've read the derision &scorn people heap on Baen for scantily clad women on covers. I'll just point out that if you don't like that type of cover art then you're likely not the target demographic.
Get out there and buy the War Maid's Choice ecRAC, it'll stave off the shakes and headaches, for a little while at least.