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review 2018-08-24 11:11
"A Thousand Words For Stranger- Trade Pact #1" by Julie E Czerneda - great start to a promising series
A Thousand Words for Stranger - Julie E. Czerneda

I dived into the audiobook version of "A Thousand Words For Stranger" knowing nothing about it except that I loved the title.


The start took my breathe away. I was dropped into a complex, planet-spanning, multi-species universe where neither I nor the main character knew what was going on other than that she was in danger and had to get off-world fast. I felt the same excitement that I did going to "Star Wars" in 1977 when everything was new and unknown but it felt solid and it moved fast and I really wanted to learn more.


What followed was a romp across strange worlds, including a gigantic shopping mall in space (no, it wasn't called DS9), a swamp city with venomous priests and a city where the buildings had no doors, with the main character, Sira being pursued by pirates, Trade Pack Enforcers and members of a telepathic, teleporting race call The Clan.


Sira's memory has been suppressed so she doesn't know who she is or why so many people are after her. She takes refuge with charismatic Captain Morgan, who runs his own spacecraft single-handed and trades across Pact Space.


The relationship between Sira and Captain Morgan is built skillfully and manages to provide the emotional drive of the story as well as being central to the mystery surrounding Sira and her loss of memory.


Some of the secondary characters are beautifully drawn, almost to the point of distracting me. For example, the book opens from the point of view of a Trade Pact Enforcer from an avian species. I loved being inside his head but I didn't get to go there again after the first few chapters.


There was a slight hiatus about eighty per cent through when a major crisis is spectacularly resolved but none of the hinted at but not explained issues around Sira have been dealt with. This made the set-up of the ending a little too dense in content that could have been shared earlier.


These are minor niggles. I spent most of my time cheering for the good guys, hissing at the bad guys and wondering if what I thought I'd figured out would actually turn out to be the explanation (The answer: mostly yes but with a few surprises- I think this is the perfect mix).


After I'd cheered at the end, both because it was a good ending and a great set up for something else interesting to happen next, I looked up Julie E. Czernado and discovered that this idea-packed, well-written, epic SF story was her debut novel and that it was published way back in 1997 (and still stands up).


So the bad news is that, even though I'm an avid Science Fiction fan, I somehow missed out on reading Julie E Czernado until now. The good news is that I have another seventeen novels set in the same universe ahead of me.

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text 2018-08-19 22:37
Reading progress update: I've read 23%. -wow, what a start
A Thousand Words for Stranger - Julie E. Czerneda

This is the first book in the Trade Pact series. It was published in 2012 but I only became aware of it this month. 


Stepping into was a bit like going to the first Star Wars movie when everything was new and unknown but it felt solid and it moved fast and you wanted more.


This is confident, complex, has a huge cast of characters but keeps the focus on people in the way the best Star Wars movies do.


My wife and I are reading it together. It's great fun.

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text 2018-07-24 22:34
One of those series and authors I keep meaning to start reading ...
A Thousand Words for Stranger - Julie E. Czerneda

Finally starting this one.  It's been a series and an author I've been meaning to read for so long.


From opening author acknowledgements:

"I really was in a basement, studying the evolution of reproductive behavior in Pimephales promelas (the fathead minnow), and writing was two things to me: a pleasant habit and a way to explore Big Ideas. "

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review 2018-01-24 18:03
A Turn of Light by Julie Czerneda - My Thoughts
A Turn of Light - Julie E. Czerneda

The third of my Christmas books and I'm 3 for 3!  (I have one Christmas book left to read.) 

So, Julie Czerneda is a Canadian author, mostly of science fiction.  She's a favourite of my good friend, Ginette, and when I had read something about Julie and this book somewhere (I follow a lot of blogs) I mentioned to G that I thought I'd like to give her a try.  G said that she thought I'd like it.  She did.  So it went on my Christmas list and my son put it under the tree for me.

Now this book is a brick.  I mean, an 800-page brick!  And I have the mass market paperback edition so let me tell you that when one is used to reading on an ereader, it's a pretty daunting thing!  *LOL*  It took me a while (for me) to read.  2 1/2 weeks.  But not because I wasn't enjoying it, 'cause I was, but looking for a light and a comfy way to hold the book for an extended period of time and the smallish font is a bit of a chore!  *LOL*

Anyway... to the book.

This is not a book for someone who wants a quick, action-packed thrill ride.  This is a book to immerse yourself in.  A book to discover slowly, like that cliché of peeling back the layers of an onion.  A book to sink into until you become as at home in Marrowdell as Jenn and her family and her friends. 

There's something special about Marrowdell and as you go along in the book, you slowly begin to discover its delights and secrets bit by bit.  It could be frustrating if you weren't into that, but I found myself almost wallowing in the atmosphere.  Julie makes Marrowdell come alive. 

And the characters.  Oh, I loved most of them.  Absurdly, the character I could never really warm up to was the main character of Jenn.  She was just a little too young, a little too naive and impulsive, a little too... flighty at times?... for old lady me.  I didn't dislike her at all.  I just never warmed up to her.  The surrounding characters... honestly?  I think I liked them all!  I have a special soft spot for Horst.  And Kydd.  And Tir.  Then there's Scourge... the, um, big warhorse. *LOL*  And like my friend, Ginette, the TOADS!!! 

And you know... there's nary a prince, a duke, a queen or an emperor.  This is a story about normal (well....) country folk, farmers, millers, tinkers and an one-time soldier or two.   You know... it feels just like a Canadian book in some ways.  *LOL*

Oh, I enjoyed this!  And I'll read the second one as well as dip into Julie's science fiction tales. 

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text 2015-12-26 13:22
Reading progress update: I've read 119 out of 368 pages.
A Thousand Words for Stranger - Julie E. Czerneda

Really struggling with this; it's written in a number of different points of view (including one in first person, ugh) and the writing seems really clunky.

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