Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ky Vatta

I've been reading one of my favourite author's recently, Elizabeth Moon, because I finally found Books 2 through 5 of her Vatta's War series. As with Moon's other series (Paksennarion, fantasy and Serrano Legacy, sci-fi), I was waiting for every chance to keep reading. And when one book was finished I would quickly pick up the next one and devour it.

It makes me wonder why I love her writing so much. It is quick writing, with just enough description to keep the imagination flowing. Moon actually flaunts the old rule of 'show don't tell' and spends a good portion of her books telling the story! With worlds as vast and complicated as a future earth that has expanded into space, it would be painful to read slow, dreamy descriptive passages. Instead, Moon gets on with it. And the dialogue carries most of the important information.

Below is Kylara Vatta, star of the Vatta's War series. What a fantastic name, too! "Ky" for short is just lovely. It is strong, yet feminine, a perfect match for this deeply moral, gifted leader with a surprising knack for killing and space warfare.




I just love the words Moon chooses for her characters and places. They sounds just right, yet they seem believable and match with the rest of the series. The male lead Rafe (short for Rafael) reminds me of Rhett from Gone With The Wind, such a worldly-wise man yet with a patient, loving heart. And say the word "Cascadia" out loud. Doesn't it just roll off the tongue? It sounds so neat when I say it in my head. This is the name of one of the main planets featured in the series. But the names aren't the reason I loved reading the books.
Here are some unique qualities about Vatta's War:

  • Female lead character commanding a space force

  • Other characters of all different types, creating interesting clashes and differing points of view at times

  • Human beings only (no aliens)

  • Technology advancements are most notable in the fields of communications (with realistic hurdles from the limitations of light-speed signalling) and modding for the human body (brain implants, sensory nodes, growing limbs etc.)

  • Unseen enemy consistent with modern warfare - the main characters have little or no direct interaction with the bad guys (they're in space ships so they never come into personal contact with the pirate leader)

  • No mention of evolution (it just isn't needed)

  • Very low-key references to religion (all new and made up from what I can tell)

  • Slight aspect of romance
The storyline itself, and especially finding out what Kylara is going to do next, is what keeps me reading. Top that with the slightest aspect of romance and you have a page-turner. What I would really like to see is something similar to the above, but with a strong love story to it. Maybe this is something for me to consider when I'm finished writing the Astor Chronicles. A sci-f love story.
So much to do. So much to look forward to.


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1 comment:

The Book Chook said...

I've only read one of Moon's books, and that was The Speed of Dark. I loved it. Now I'll look out for those you just mentioned.