24 May 2010

Elizabeth Moon - The Serrano Connection

  • Author: Elizabeth Moon
  • Title: The Serrano Connection
  • Publisher: Baen 2008
  • ISBN: 1416555951
Another day, another Elizabeth Moon omnibus, this time the second in the Serrano series.  This book contains the two previously published novels Once a Hero (1997) and Rules of Engagement (1998), featuring Esme Suiza, who was a character in the final book in the Heris Serrano series, Winning Colors.  The Serrano connection is Barin Serrano, a character from  the second of the Heris Serrano stories, Sporting Chance, who meets Esme, and they fall in love (awww)

In Once A Hero, Esme has been assigned to the RSS Koskiusko, a deep space repair facility, as she tries to recover her career from the fallout of the events at the Battle of Xavier. Will she survive her reputation?  More importantly, will she survive the terrorists who have just boarded this gigantic space ship?

I love the idea of the space ship.  Massive deep space construction yard with 100 000 people on board?  Awesome.  I want one.  Some excellent incidental characters as well.  And of course, Esme saves the day, outperforms her seniors and basically is Hero, again.
In Rules Of Engagement, Esme finds herself transferred from the Koskiuko to HQ for command track training.  She unfortunately falls afoul of Brun 'Bubbles' Meger, a spoiled rich kid who manages to completely fuck over Esmes life, and not to care about it.  As Esme struggles to scrape her life and career back together, Brun gets herself kidnapped by Fundamentalist Christians.  Can Esme rebuild her reputation? Will Brun survive?  Will Esme and Barin finally get together? Will Brun realise what an asshole she has been and save Esmes career?  The answers and more lay herein....

It's more of the same, space ships, weird space royalty and their spoiled rich children, military kids who struggle between history and self, the Regular Space Service of the Familias Reginas empire..  Ya know, space opera, the good stuff.

Parts of this story made me pretty angry, as you can probably guess.  I fucking hate rich kids who feel entitled, who have no concern for the impact they have through the actions they take.  Blah blah.  Needless to say, the books vindicate my opinion.  Yay for the battlers!

Definitely worth reading, if largely for completeness sake. Really nice imagery, but a little bit inconsistent in terms of character. I mean, Brun was supposedly reformed in earlier books, yet all of a sudden she's a useless bitch again.  It's not so much a sequel as a continuation with the lead character snatched out, so it's good, but might have been better. I think the repetition of the "Esme doesn't understand and won't stand up for herself" thing over successive novels is a bit blah, when she seemingly learned her lesson the first time.  I dunno, seems a little like the ball was dropped, if ever so slightly. The writing in these novels is absolutely top notch, but I think the plot and characters kinda stalled, mostly in Rules of Engagement.

I'd suggest that you read it, but try not to get as emotionally invested as I did in the characters, or you might get pissy, like I did.  Just saying.

I'm a bit pathetic, I know. Yay Me!