A while ago, K over at Preachers and Horse Thieves won one of my book give-aways and reciprocated by sending me not one, but two, books. The first review can be found here.
First, a disclaimer. K is like that super-smart friend whose IQ is light years greater than mine. You know the kind? I was by no means a dumb kid in high school, but I always managed to surround myself with people so smart that it made my head hurt. Guess I was hoping some of their smarts would rub off on me. When K asked me what type of books I liked to read, I flippantly answered, "ones with words." You know, you shouldn't say things like that to someone like K. What does he come up with? A hard-core sci-fi for me to read.
Now, I read approximately 1,100 wpm. Usually.
I can burn through a book in just a couple of days (another reason I love Eloise - when I run out of books, I just download a new one). Usually.
I gotta tell you, PARAFAITH WAR by L.E. Modesitt kicked my book-lovin' ass. I enjoyed it, but my speed reading slowed to a crawl. Heck with 1,100 wpm, I was lucky to get 11 wpm. It took me two weeks (or more) to finish the book - the only time that happens is when I'm reading an eight- or nine-hundred page book. This was not an eight- or nine-hundred page book.
It took me a while to get into the book, simply because I wasn't familiar with the vocabulary and I had to make the transition from "my" world to that of Modesitt's. Once I was able to make the switch in my head and got comfortable with the vocabulary, I really enjoyed the book and looked forward to bedtime so that I could stretch out on my belly and read my ten or twelve pages before my brain started cramping up from thinking so much.
The book is about a turf war, essentially, between two cultures of differing faith (sound familiar?). One culture is busy planoforming and defending themselves, while the other culture is busy over-populating their world(s) and attacking the planoformed worlds for growth. Like most wars, this one has dragged on for years and is pointless. War is just what they do; both cultures have been at it for so long that they've forgotten the reason.
The book follows Trystin Desoll's military career from a border guard to an intelligence agent for an interested third-party. As he grows in his military career, and with help from the third-party, he starts thinking a little more than an average grunt should and creatively comes up with a way to end the senseless war.
Yes, I've far over-simplified the gist of the book, but that's about it. It was a good read that flexed my thinkin' muscle, and I enjoyed it, but I think I'm going to leave sci-fi to my smart friend, K.
Thanks, though, K for helping me try out a new genre.