I read a lot of books, and most don’t get reviewed here on the blog. The ones I spend the time to review are ones I find significant (or wacky) in some way. I don’t need to say Linda Nagata’s The Red: First Light is an excellent Sci-Fi novel, as it’s been reviewed many times and nearly captured a brace of prestigious awards. It’s cracking good adventure, has excellent character depth, a delightfully high stakes Alistair MacLean plot and even a believable and heartbreaking love story woven in–the latter not something usually found done well in a Sci-Fi book. I’m not the first to say it’s a worthy carrier of Haldeman’s The Forever War torch in theme, character and tone (yes, many f-bombs).
I enjoyed the Lives and thought the premise, of long-lived non-corporeal beings which could survive long-term on Earth only by inhabiting human host bodies, intriguing and presented in a way which is as believable as it can get. I appreciated the way Wesley worked in limitations of these beings: they need to retain their new host-bodies, they can last only so long outside, if the host’s death is under certain circumstances, the parasite/superbeing passes. His action and pace was generally good, though at time I felt it flagged a little, or there were periods which I felt were not as well fleshed out as they could be. I had trouble identifying with some of the characters at times – most likely there is more backstory to this which could have deepened the conflict and brought the reader into the story with more conviction. Overall, a very good airplane book – a bit like a supernatural James Bond adventure at times, light enough yet intriguing enough you can do it in distracting circumstances.