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review 2017-11-08 00:02
The Trials - Linda Nagata

This is a genre that I seldom read, near-future, sort of post-apocalyptic, military fiction; but DAMN, I like this series. It's almost like ... well, I want to say good Tom Clancy with twists.

This is the continuation of the events in First Light, book one of the series.  Again, we follow the 1st person narrative of Lieutenant James Shelley as he navigates this screwed up world.  Shelley is the beneficiary of some high tech body modifications, even thought they sometimes seem like a curse and Nagata writes it so well that even a know-nothing like me understands what's going on.  Even the trial/court scenes were eminently readable and that's not always the case.

The world is dark and cynical and full of conspiracies and plots and counter-plots and the author does them all justice.  I never predicted what was happening until it was either happening or just about to go down.  And even then, there was always some twist I didn't see.

This is a techno-thriller in the true sense of the word, I think.  I was on the virtual edge of my seat almost the whole time I was reading.  We meet up with lots of old friends, make some new ones and come across some not so nice folks too, familiar and otherwise.  And I should have seen that twist coming at the end, but I didn't, and damn, it's a good one!

So yeah, I really enjoyed my read and I'm glad that I have the final book in the trilogy nestled nicely in my Kobo.

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review 2016-09-21 00:19
Going Dark (The Red #3)
Going Dark - Linda Nagata

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by  Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.

Title: Going Dark

Series: The Red

Author: Linda Nagata

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 465

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

Shelley is the team lead of a group of individuals who are working directly for The Red. They seek to end Existential Threats [ie, world ending, world changing] before they can occur.

But Shelley isn't prepared for The Red to be a fallible program and when it appears to fail him, Shelley must decide if he'll continue to let The Red run his life or if he'll start controlling himself.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This was the most overtly philosophical of the books and hence we spend a good bit of time in Shelley's head. You know what? Shelley is an idiot. He has tossed aside his own brains and expects The Red to be his god and to be the kind of god that gives him everything on a platter. He forgets that The Red is a program and nothing more. In many ways, this was the story of Shelley growing up and beginning to rely on himself and other people instead of an ephemeral bit of code.

 

There is just as much action as in the previous books. Pulse pounding, boot thumping, bullet shattering action. Shelley is always one step from dying, either from the enemy or from his relying on The Red and considering how the author has treated him in the previous books, you just never know if he'll make it or not.

 

There isn't much resolution really. Shelley just decides to stop relying on The Red and be a fracking man. Hoo Ra!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-07-10 13:56
The Trials (The Red #2)
The Trials - Linda Nagata

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.com & Bookstooge's Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.

Title: The Trials

Series: The Red

Author: Linda Nagata

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 480

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

Shelley and his crew are on trial for their actions in the previous book. As is Sheridan in a world court.

Once the trial resolves, Shelley becomes involved with his former handler and they are both recruited to a extra-Constitutional private army that is intent on making the United States and the world a better place.

Shelley is kidnapped by a group that is trying to use the Red for their own ends. Shelley is rescued but reveals that a Dragon has a nuke up in space. Now it is up to him and his allies to recover the nuke and bring the Dragon to justice.

The book ends with Shelley being recruited by yet another group, this time one with direct ties to the Red and that is below the radar of everybody.

 

My Thoughts:

 

As with the first book, this was just good. I am thoroughly enjoying James Shelley as a main character. The poor guy has to figure out if he's Special, a Tool or a special tool. Either way, it sure messes with his head.

 

I did find it rather sad that at the end he had to pretend that he'd died. That must have ripped up his girlfriend pretty bad. And for him to do that, knowing what it would do to her [as he watched his previous girlfriend get blown up], seems pretty harsh.  A relationship is the dynamic between 2 people, not the actions of just one of them.

 

I think my favorite part of the book was when he was kidnapped and being used. It was obvious that the group leader thought she had the Red all figured out and so to see her arrogance turned on its head and her ideas filled with a hail of bullets, was rather satisfying.

 

I have enjoyed these books enough that I'd consider buying them in hardcover. However, I think a re-read in a couple of years would be a wise decision before that. If I enjoy this as much then as I did now, then yes, it'll definitely go on the buy-list.

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review 2016-05-26 06:17
Literally! Also figuratively
Going Dark (The Red Trilogy) - Linda Nagata

Nagata wasn't kidding about the title, Going Dark, boy howdy. It's a military term for dropping under the radar, but here it's also about questioning every living loving thing you might believe in. Going Dark is a drag, a little, as a novel. It's mostly Shelley and Tran and the other guy pointing guns at other people or recuperating, but it's a necessary drag in the service of The Red. Shelley keeps saying, you can never trust the Red, but he does, on a level; he's the godamn Hero of Black Cross. But this is the novel where the rubber hits the road. The end is brutally open, the kind of thing one finds in a complex, ugly world where there are no easy answers. Hoo rah. 

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review 2016-05-08 14:54
First Light (The Red #1)
First Light - Linda Nagata

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge's Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.

Title: First Light

Series: The Red

Author: Linda Nagata

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 417

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

 

 

Synopsis:

James Shelley, known as Shelley, is leading his little army unit in the latest dustup in Africa. He has some really good instincts and has kept his company alive.  Until he ignores his feelings on one occasion and several of them die.

 

It is revealed that some program in the Cloud has gone autonomous [not sentient, like Skynet, mind you] and is nudging people to do things they might not ordinarily do, for reasons unknown. Shelley has a link with the Red and nobody knows if that is good or bad.

 

A powerful Defense Contractor, who are known as Dragons, decides that the Red is to dangerous and ends up nuking America to take the the country off of the Cloud. It is now up to a newly rebuilt Shelley and an elite team to  bring this Dragon to Justice before a world court.

 

My Thoughts:

Thoroughly enjoyed this. Fast paced, action filled.

 

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