Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Five Reasons to Read Kristin Landon's Hidden Worlds Trilogy

I have been a follower/fan of The Galaxy Express for a while now, and can’t tell you how happy I am that the site exists. Heather Massey does an amazing job promoting Science Fiction Romance. Interviews, reviews, discussions, you get it all at TGE. And giveaways. I have benefited three times from such promotions and have always imagined one of my books being the prize at TGE someday. After this third win, Heather gently reminded me that what I SHOULD do (my emphasis, not hers. Heather is very kind to knuckleheads like me) is give back for my great luck by talking about the books.

Oy. Ever feel like a complete tool? Yeah, that would be me.

I should have done this long ago, and I apologize to Heather at The Galaxy Express and Kristin Landon for being so…well, the only word for it is negligent…lazy…oblivious. I guess that’s three words, but they all apply. (I will run another self-flagellating apology when I post about Nathalie Gray’s Agent Provocateur : )

So let me stash the wet noodle for a moment and tell you why you need to read this series.

After the Earth was destroyed by ruthless machine intelligences known as the Cold Minds, the remnants of the human race sought refuge on the Hidden Worlds. For 600 years, the worlds have been protected by Pilot Masters, men who have been bred and trained for this sole purpose. But from a small, insignificant world comes a woman looking to secure her planet’s economic health. A woman who holds the key to a secret the Pilot Masters don’t want revealed.

Can you guess what is eventually going to happen? Well, maybe you can, to a degree, but there’s more to these books than a bunch of evil machines and haughty pilots. Much, much more.

Granted, I’ve only just finished Book Two, The Cold Minds, but I have more than enough to back up a recommendation. I stink at “reviews” and decided to take Heather’s suggestion to make a list. It is a tad vague, but that’s to avoid spoilers : )

1. Stellar writing. And I don’t use “stellar” in the “it’s about other worlds” sense. I mean the writing is AMAZING. Ms. Landon has some mad skills in this department. Intricate plotting, incredible detail, well-rounded characters. I’ve read more seasoned authors who can’t weave a story nearly as well as she. Brava, madam.

2. Delicious villains. No, not the machines; they are creepy. Not all the humans are the good guys here. The characters are multidimensional and the villains, like all good villains, are heroes of their own stories. You can totally see that, considering the situation they are in. Well, *mostly* see that. There are some real jerks, but jerks you’ll love to hate : )

3. Super hero. No, not the Batman or Superman variety. The hero is Iain sen Paolo, one of those haughty pilots. At first, he comes across as a bit over-privileged and self-involved (sorry, Ms. Landon, but he does : ) . But he comes around soon enough. Iain isn’t perfect, and he has some issues to deal with, but he’s trying hard to be loyal to his brother pilots (even after they treat him like dirt because—oops! That would be telling ; ), save his people, and love the heroine when she is pushing him away.

4. A heroine you can love. Linnea Kiaho is one brave young woman, and tougher than she first appears. She is more than a little naïve about the ways of the rest of the worlds, and unfortunately she gets a harsh lesson all too soon. But saving humanity—and her family back home--is more important to her than dwelling on her own problems. You just want to sit her down and say, “Linnea, honey, sometimes it’s okay to be selfish.” I don’t think she’d listen, though. It’s not that she is a martyr or does silly things in the name of love and self sacrifice. Linnea is smart, and that, along with her vulnerability and her determination to save her people, makes her a heroine you can root for.

5. Mind boggling world-building. Along with Ms. Landon’s incredible writing talent, you get one of the most complex and detailed universes in SF. Six hundred plus years of history and subsequent human cultures. I would have to put her universe up there with the one in David Weber’s Honor Harrington series. Yes, it’s that well thought out.

Go get this series. Go now. Get all three books and start reading. Then come back here and tell me what you thought. Better yet, tell the author. I hear they love getting fan mail : )

I am about to start Book Three, The Dark Reaches, so my next post might take a bit.

ETA: Finished The Dark Reaches. My take: Whoa and damn! Read this trilogy!

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At 8:57 AM, Blogger Cybercliper said...

I have the entire trilogy sitting on ye olde TBR pile as we speak - will have to dig them out of the pile - thanks for the review. I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of Koch's Touched by an Alien. Really want to get this but "first person" POV sometimes really throws me off...

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Let me know what you think of the trilogy, Cybercliper. The romance isn't the end all and be all of the books, but it's there. And the SF factor is one of the best I've read.

I'm looking forward to Koch's book. I don't mind first person (especially since I write in that POV :), but I can understand how it would take some getting used to. I'll let you know about that one soon.

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Heather Massey said...

I second all five of these! Awesome post and I heartily recommend this trilogy.

I've got a copy of Touched By An Alien right now and am looking forward to the read. My experience with first person POV in SFR has been good so far (e.g., Linnea Sinclair, Ann Aguirre) so I'm not as aversive to it as I thought I would be.

At 8:37 PM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Thanks, Heather. And thanks for stopping by : )

First person is tougher for a romance, when readers are somewhat used to getting both sides. But for some stories, it works quite well if we *don't* know what the other person is thinking/doing away from the POV character. Kinda adds to the mystique of a new relationship, don't you think? : )

At 5:20 AM, Blogger Writer and Cat said...

Thanks for the reviews. I knew your reading schedule kept getting interrupted by life and I'm happy you got a chance to sit down and enjoy the books. They sound good!

My verification word is: midromps. It's not a word but SHOULD be. It's either the hilly area on an SFR style planet (the midromps) or the high point of a wild party.

At 6:16 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

I'm glad I did too, W&C. They have been worth it.

Love your definitions of midromps. You'd better use it before I do ; )

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Kristin Landon said...

Omigod, Cathy, I just found this again.

Thank you so much. When I saw it last I was dealing with (a) breast cancer recovery and (b) parents aging into dementia, or I would have (1) seen it and (2) done better.

All the same it made my month. Hope you see this. Thank you thank you thank you. Even when the work has aged into irrelevance, I love it and love to see it welcomed.


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