Good Reading : October 2015
GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING OCTOBER 2015 48 SCI-FI / FANTASY WOM word of mouth RATINGS ★ ★ ★★ ★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ RG Shattered Sea 3: Half a War Joe Abercrombie This final offering in the ‘Shattered Sea’ trilogy doesn’t disappoint; it’s chock full of battles, betrayal, skulduggery and general mayhem. The cunning Father Yarvi, Chief Advisor to King Uthil of Gettland, has brokered an alliance of sorts with their former mortal enemy, King Grom-gil-Gorm of Vansterland, in order to repulse the invading ar mies of the High King, who wants to rule all the lands of the Shattered Sea. Another member of the alliance, King Fynn of Throvenland, was recently slaughtered along with his followers. But his granddaughter, Princess Skara, has sought refuge in Gettland. Now the members of the alliance, weakened by the loss of the Throvenlanders, must face vastly superior odds. But their own internal petty squabbling may well tear them apart before they even make it onto the field of battle; and it’s here that young, intelligent but politically inexperienced Princess Skara may just make the difference they need. After all, as Princess Skara declares, ‘Only half a war is fought with swords’. As always with Joe Abercrombie, very few of his books have clearly identifiable ‘heroes’; they’re usually just ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Some have the curse of noble birth and others have the blessing of a peasant upbringing – or vice versa. This hugely engaging tale is filled with bloody combat, greasy political finagling and empathic characters. ★★★★ Voyager $29.99 Reviewed by Brooke Walker Convergence David M Henley As the Weave continues to collapse and shut down, the linked minds of the world net fall in to confusion. People cannot access data, they lose contact with friends and family, and drop out of the virtual world supported by the Weave. The ensuing confusion leaves space for the psi’s to make their move, an attack on mainland territor ies to capture land and resources that they can use to carve out a country of their own, free from the shackles of the oppressive military powers that rule Earth. Meanwhile, Pierre Jnr’s presence and influence grows. His mind reaches out across the world to unite all people as one mind, one body, all controlled by him. Humanity’s very existence hangs in the balance as the psychics and the military face off to battle for the heart and soul of the planet. Into this maelstrom comes SIB, multiple robotic AI entities that share a single mind and purpose; they are apparently here to help. But no-one is really sure if they are here to help everyone or just further their own interests. Will they ensure that Pierre Jnr succeeds in his goal of a universal mind, or will they help the military save the remnants of humankind that Pierre Jnr does not control? This novel, the last instalment of David Henley’s ‘Pierre Jnr’ trilogy, draws together the multiple storylines from the previous two books to a series of end points that are inevitable and unsatisfying. Leaving more questions than answers, this densely packed novel challenges the readers to stay with the characters as they progress along the path to a realisation that we are all part of a bigger picture and that any action – or inaction – we are party to can shape meaning and create history, whether we wish it to or not. ★★★ Voyager $27.99 Reviewed by David Johnson Joe Abercrombie Ttrilogy doesn’t disappoint; it’s chock full of battles, betrayal, skulduggery and general mayhem. The About Joe Abercrombie Born in Lancaster, UK, on the last day of 1974, Joe Abercrombie started his working life by making tea in a television production company.