Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Falling Stars

Falling Stars by Michael Flynn is the final book, #4, in the Firestar Saga. Originally published in 2001, my hardcover copy is 414 pages long. May I share two initial comments: "The earth is safe from the asteroids!" and "It's about time!" The final book in the series was a satisfying conclusion and I highly recommend it. Because of the length and the huge cast of characters, Flynn could have tightened his saga up, done some brutal editing, tried to achieve 1100 pages total, and ended up with a more satisfying but still long 2 book series. On a side note, Flynn doesn't see the need to use a lot of swearing in his books - there is virtually none - and I find that refreshing. It doesn't detract from the story or the passion of the characters. Rating: 4; Series average: 3.75

At Amazon, From Publishers Weekly
The world is menaced in true cataclysmic fashion in this epic of the near future, the conclusion to Flynn's previous books, Firestar, Rogue Star and Lodestar. The premise of the novel is exciting enough, and Flynn handles a vast number of characters reasonably well (there's a four-page list of names at the beginning), but the overall effect is exhausting. In the year 2017 certain asteroids have changed their orbit and are on a collision course with Earth. There's a global financial crash, and politics--including the quasi-fascistic machinations of a Huey Long-like politico--force the principals from Flynn's other novels to band together and voyage to an asteroid in a desperate, if not suicidal, attempt to save the world. Some of the... techno-babble is irritatingly obtuse.... Still, for readers hungry for a politically astute, crisis-laden SF novel in a well-imagined future, this is adequate fare. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

"He swiped his key card through the reader to print the rest of the article. Scuttlebutt you could get for free on the web, but copyright you had to pay." pg. 27

"No previous sighting... It's a new one, Mariesa... Estimated impact, thirteen months after the first." pg. 111

"Opinions, sure. Everyone has opinions, and sometimes at the bar or the card club they can get pretty worked up over them. But ideology doesn't drive them. It's not why they get out of bed in the morning. But there are always those for whom the Great Abstraction is real and everything they see or hear they stuff into its procrustean bed. Some - call them idealists - are willing to die for the idea. The problem... is that there are others - ideologues - who are willing to kill for it." pg. 145

"Though we really ought to pray... Not for miracles. The way I figure this God thing is, He's no performing monkey to do tricks on command. No, we need to pray - you, me, everyone - for the strength to see this through, whether that strength comes to us as God's grace, or whether we need to find it inside ourselves." pg. 159

"We create the world...with every day we live. We can never say our lives make no difference." pg. 359

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