November 15th, 2009

Kitty: Angry Calico

Anderson, C.L.: Bitter Angels

Bitter Angels (2009)
Written by: C. L. Anderson
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 438 (Mass Market Paperback)

The premise: from, which is also the backcover blurb: The Erasmus System is a sprawling realm of slavery, smugglers, spies—and constant, creeping decrepitude. Here everyone who is not part of the ruling Four Families is a slave of one kind or another. But the Guardians, a special-forces branch inside the United World Government for Earth, have deemed Erasmus a “hot spot.” Somehow, it is believed, this failing colony intends to launch a war upon the solar system.

Ex-Field Commander Terese Drajeske, now a mother of three, has been called back to active duty and sent to Erasmus, ostensibly to investigate the murder of her colleague—and friend—Bianca Fayette. At first blush, the death defies explanation: Bianca was immortal. But beneath that single murder lies a twisted foundation of deceptions. Suddenly Terese is plunged into a vortex of shattered lives, endemic deceit, and one dreadful secret. In this society without hope, someone has put into motion a plan that will cast humanity into chaos. And Terese, who has given up her family and her sanity to prevent war, may be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice….

My Rating

Give It Away: this is a hard book to rate, because in truth, the ending alone is what MADE this book and is what will make me seriously consider a sequel. Whether there will be a sequel or not, I don't know, but I definitely won't ignore future offerings from this author, and that's all based on the strength of the ending. That said, Anderson's complex plot is such that, while it leaves you guessing as to what's REALLY going on, it also keeps your head in a cloud, making it difficult for the reader to figure it out for herself. It's not an easy book to classify either: it's kind of military-SF, kind of space opera, and kind of . . . I'm not sure what. Yes, it's SF, but on one hand, while it reads like SF and will appeal to readers of both genders, on the other hand, there's something about it that doesn't read like SF at all, and not in a good way. I think it's the cloud I felt I was reading through, and hey, maybe that's just my problem. :) I will say that if you figure out what's REALLY going on before it's revealed, you should give yourself a pat on the back, because I sure couldn't connect the dots, not until I was supposed to. :)

Review style: we're dividing this sucker up. Likes and dislikes, because I think it'll help me wrap my head around the book. Spoilers? No. I don't think I could spoil this if I tried. :) So if you're interested in the FULL review, feel free to head to my LJ by clicking the link below. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)


Happy Reading!

DON'T FORGET: the November Book Club selection is Alaya Dawn Johnson's Racing the Dark. We'd love to have you! For details on how to participate in this and future challenges, just click here.