Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Review: PARAFAITH WAR

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.

4 comments:

Melanie said...

Sounds interesting! I'm not a sci-fi fan per se, but I've been known to dabble. I completely understand the frustration of learning a whole new language just to read the book. The only thing more frustrating than that is to finish the book and realize there's not a sequel. Really?? I learned a whole new language for nothing? It's not like I can sneak these words into normal conversation you know.

K. Erickson said...

GunDiva, I really appreciate the compliments; but, truly, I'm not that smart. If I were, I be making a whole lot more money for a whole lot less work. If you don't mind another recommendation for less hard core SciFi, go try Spider Robinson's Callahan's Cross Time Salon series of books. They're more in line with Terry Pratchett's style of writing. I'm also currently reading a freebie on my iPhone B&N eReader app called Fool Me Twice by a guy named Jim Dodge, Jr. Looks to be up your alley.

Mel, there is a sequel to Parafaith War called The Ethos Effect. So, your efforts would not be wasted. Also, Modesitt uses a similar language in his other, unrelated SciFi books. Again, not a wasted effort if you like Modesitt.

Vinomom said...

There are two genres I just can't get into - Sci-Fi and Mystery. A lot of people confuse Fantasy and sci-fi though, and while Fantasy is not my general Go To - There are a few I really really enjoy. Try Mercedes Lackey - basically any of her books, but the best one is called The Queen's Own.

GunDiva said...

Thanks for the book tips! I'm finding that I'm actually spending a lot more money on books now that I have Eloise - it's just too easy to see an interesting book and hit the damn "buy" button. But it's also made it a lot easier to try new genres.