Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review: WARRIORS 3

BOOK REVIEW:  WARRIORS 3

Here, slightly altered, is the review I just posted on Amazon.com for the new WARRIORS 3 paperback, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.  As of right now there's only one other review of WARRIORS 3 on Amazon.  If you've read the book, why not post a review there and let others know what you think?

First of all, I have to say I'm pleased that the actual color of the cover of WARRIORS 3 is a sort of coral. Far more attractive, in my opinion, than the bright pinkish-purple you see in the Amazon cover picture! So if you're put off by the colors shown here, go take a look at it in the bookstore and decide for yourself.

This volume contains most of the stories that I liked from the WARRIORS hardcover edition. Here are my impressions:

1) "The Triumph", by Robin Hobb. A story set in ancient Rome.  I didn't care for this one at all.

2) "Soldierin'", by Joe R. Lansdale. A humorous look at the Buffalo Soldiers, a troop of black cavalry fighting Indians on the American frontier, circa 1870. I liked the narrator's cynical outlook on life, and his dry wit.

3) "Clean Slate", by Lawrence Block. An incest survivor turns serial killer, in an attempt to wipe out the memories of her father's sexual abuse. Chilling, but very well-written.

4) "The Girls from Avenger", by Carrie Vaughn. This is the story of Em, one of a group of female pilots during World War II known as the Women's Air Service Pilots (WASP). When one of her fellow female pilots is killed in an accident, Em battles the sexism and condescension of her male colleagues and the men in the chain of command in order to learn the truth of what happened to her friend. A well-written story, one of my favorites in the collection.  In my opinion it makes a good "companion piece" for Diana Gabaldon's story, "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows".  (I kept wondering what Jerry MacKenzie would have thought of these female pilots.)

5) "The Pit", by James Rollins. Dog-lovers will find this story disturbing, although it has a positive ending. The story of a dog stolen from its suburban home and forced to compete in a series of savage dog-fights in which losing means death. Told from the dog's point of view. (If you want to read a much lighter and more enjoyable story from the point of view of a dog, try THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, by Garth Stein. I loved that book, and I'm not even a dog-owner.)

6) "My Name is Legion", by David Morrell. A tale about the French Foreign Legion. Interesting, but not one of my favorites.

[And last but definitely NOT least... <g>]

7) "The Custom of the Army", by Diana Gabaldon. If you're a fan of Diana Gabaldon's books, especially the character of Lord John Grey, I think you'll enjoy this story. At 93 pages (just over 25% of the book), it's by far the longest story in this collection, which allows Gabaldon room to tell a more complex story. It's also highly entertaining (the electric-eel party that opens this story is hilarious), well-written, and full of the sort of historical detail that fans of the OUTLANDER and Lord John books have come to expect. The bulk of the story takes place in Quebec in 1759, during the Seven Years War. Highly recommended!  (Please note, if you're looking forward to Diana Gabaldon's novel, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, which will be released on November 29, 2011, it might be a good idea to read "The Custom of the Army" first.)

2 comments:

Cari said...

Great review, Karen! (I especially found your review of the first story quite informative - short and to the point. ;-) )

I have to admit that I've only read Custom of the Army and not the other stories in the book, so any review from me would be awfully biased. lol

I will say that Custom of the Army is, so far, my second favorite LJ story, right after Brotherhood of the Blade. And, as you said, a definite must read before Scottish Prisoner. (Though I think that ALL of the LJ books are definite must reads for anyone who loves the Outlander universe, but that's just my opinion!)

Karen Henry said...

Hey, I don't think there's anything wrong with posting "awfully biased" reviews on Amazon! Everyone else seems to do it. :-) So I wouldn't let that stop you, if you just want to review "Custom" by itself and not the other stories.

I think it might help to get the word out, not just about "Custom", but about SCOTTISH PRISONER, which definitely will have references to the events of "Custom" in it.

Karen