SpeculativeFiction


Skirmishes


The latest book in Kristine Kathryn Rusch's Dive series, Skirmishes interweaves three plots together: a past encounter at the Room of the Lost Souls, the beginning of Boss' attempt to dive the Boneyard and recover more working dignity vessels, and a confrontation between Cooper's two working dignity vessels and a larger force of ships from the Empire.

Readers will want to be caught up with the earlier works in this series, because it will make absolutely no sense standing alone.
The biggest complaint I had about this book was that it doesn't advance the plot very much. With three separate narratives to follow, there just isn't time to narrate events along each timeline very far. And while the narratives do come to a degree of resolution, there's not enough to time to build tension before the climax arrives.

If anything, I would describe this as a failed attempt to interweave the three storylines together into a coherent whole. If done correctly, you get a payoff from all of them at once and it works well. In this case, the payoffs are staggered, anticlimactic, and lacking in emotional impact. The writing itself is also lacking in Rusch's usual careful touch; I found certain words to be excessively overused (particularly "anacapa", the invented term for a certain type of FTL drive) to the point that it was grating.

It was not bad enough that I failed to enjoy the read, but it's the sort of book that would put me off of continuing to read a series if there were two or three of them in a row.

This entry was published Fri Sep 20 13:10:22 CDT 2013 by Matthew and last updated 2013-09-20 13:10:22.0.

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