Written by: Karen Traviss
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 373 (Mass Market Paperback)
Series: Book Two of Six
Review style: First thing's first: there will be spoilers for book one, City of Pearl!!!! I don't recommend that you read this review without having read City of Pearl. In fact, if you haven't, just stop here. For the rest of you, the actual review will discuss how the series is progressing, how characters are changing, and how the themes from the first book are reflected here. There's a lot of juicy tidbits about dominant females and sexuality, so if you've read the series to this point, keep on reading. The rest of you? Go get your hands on City of Pearl!
The premise: ganked from BN.com: Shan Frankland forever abandoned the world she knew to come to the rescue of a lost colony on a distant and dangerous planet--a hostile world coveted by two alien races and fiercely protected by a third. But in the course of her mission, she overstepped a boundary and stumbled into forbidden lands. And she can never go back--to being neutral, to being safe. To being human.
War is coming again to Cavanagh's Star--and this time, the instigators will be the troublesome gethes from the faraway planet Earth. Former Environmental Enforcement Officer Shan Frankland has already crossed a line, and now she is a prize to be captured . . . or a threat to be eliminated. But saving a coveted world and its fragile native population may require of her one unthinkable sacrifice: the destruction of her own ruthless, invading species.
Must Have: but only if you read and enjoyed the first book in the series, City of Pearl. Make no mistake, there are some series that you can read out of order without much trouble, but with just the second book under my belt, I feel pretty safe in saying that The Wess'Har Wars is NOT one of those series. It continues a story that's already started and makes no apologies to those who might be jumping in without the first book as a life preserver, and let's face it: the action of this book will mean next to nothing to you if you don't already have an established relationship.
Me, I've got that relationship, and I'm pretty darn happy. So happy I've already ordered the rest of the six-book series. So all I can say is, if you read the first book and liked it, you gotta get the second, but good luck GETTING the second, as it's the only one of the six out of print, and even I had to borrow a copy (dear Eos Books, seriously, WTH?). But don't let it's lack of availability deter you: find it, read it, and be frightened by the direction of the plot (in a good way). If you thought Traviss made some shocking choices story-wise in the first book, wait until you get a load of this one!
The full review, with SPOILERS for both the first book, CITY OF PEARL, as well as this one, may be found at my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
REVIEW: Karen Traviss's CROSSING THE LINE
Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!
July: Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff
August: Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente