08 July 2010

Elizabeth Moon - The Serrano Succession

  • Author: Elizabeth Moon
  • Title: The Serrano Succession
  • Publisher: Orbit 2007 (Original 2000)
  • ISBN: 978 1841496740
The Serrano Succession is the omnibus edition of the conclusion to Elizabeth Moon's Serrano sequence, comprising the previously published novels Change of Command and Against the Odds, originally published by Orbit in 2000. When I ordered this book from the library, I was quite excited at the prospect, because I enjoyed the others so much.

Unfortunately, I just couldn't get going on this one. I started reading and got instantly bored. There just wasn't enough there to keep me reading. I think maybe there wasn't any more new story to tell, and I was left feeling like the author was only motivated to write in order to sell another book in an established storyline, but without any real enthusiasm for the task. It felt to me like picking up a mystery book I had already read, so all the fun of discovery is just gone.

I got this massive sense of 'here we go again' as the same major characters make the same stupid errors, the same kind of bad guys have the same early successes, the same minor characters are used to highlight the same failures of communication, eventually leading to a miraculous turnaround in the fortunes of everybody when FINALLY the characters talk to each other, find out that they all made mistaken assumptions, then soundly trounce the bad guys.

The first three books in this series were fantastic. There was a constantly building storyline over the books as each told it's own story, and the final of the trio completed that trilogy story arc nicely. The next story was good in that they developed the overall story further by switching to other characters, which made it new and refreshing without losing that overall story. The fifth story was a little bit annoying because the main character flaw of the hero of book four was used again as the driving force of the story. And now we get to books six and seven, and it's all happening again? It's as though Moon got bored with the bigger story after the fourth book and started bashing out any old thing as long as the World Building work she had already done could be slotted in, but only as a marketing tool.

It might just be the mood I am in, but I was really disappointed by the beginning few chapters to Change of Command. I may have another shot at reading this book some time in the future, but for now, it's been relegated to my 'dead horse flogged sufficiently, thanks!' pile.