Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crossfire: A Book Review

Crossfire, By Matthew Farrer, tells the story of Shira Calpurnia, newly promoted Arbitor Senioris, in her new posting on the world of Hydraphur, which is in the middle or a Navy held system full of battlefleets and massive space facilities.

PROS:
  • Arbites. C'mon, Arbites are cool! Basically Judge Dredd style law enforcement in the grim dark future.
  • Fighting. If you've ever wondered how an arbiter uses a shock maul, search no more. Same for Shotguns with Executioner rounds, rhinos, suppression shields, all sorts of cool stuff really.
  • Backstory. Calpurnia's background tells a lot about Ultramar, Tallasar, and other places in the land of the Smurfs. If you like such things, there is plenty of it around.
CONS:
  • Bystandery. I saw something along these lines on someone else's review. A big part of the beginning has Calpurnia hiding behind other Arbites as assassins try to get her. She's senior enough that she really should not be doing that much fighting herself. She still does for much of the book, but the beginning is pretty sedate.
  • Politics. Yeah. 'Nuff said here.
It was a pretty good book, in all. I got it as part of the omnibus, which is the best way to do it, honestly. The other two reviews should be forthcoming. It was a slow start for me, but I guess not everything can grab you from the first page.

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