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04/05/2005 Entry: "Miller and Lee's CRYSTAL SOLDIER -- Enjoyed It, But... (Edith)"

Crystal Soldier

CRYSTAL SOLDIER by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Finished this yesterday and enjoyed it but.... (see below!)

It's the story of M Jela Granthor's Guard, a soldier who's trying to prevent the annihilation of the worlds by the shierekas, a race which does not believe in conquering or oppression, but in obliteration and destruction. By chance he has dinner with Cantra, a Pilot trader. After dinner, the adventures begin as they're chased from world to world by a murderous bunch of people.

Jela doesn't know who is trying to capture or kill him or why, which sort of forces Cantra and him to stick together because her assocation with him has marked her as a target as well. As they save each other from one attack to the next, the relationship develops nicely from extreme caution and distrust to trust, friendship, then something more. I liked the relationship developing so gradually.

The world Lee and Miller created was interesting and seemed quite a bit different from the Liad books. At the end of the book they had a list of characters, ships, worlds, etc. That will be handy in the NEXT book for those of us with short memories.

What I didn't like is that CRYSTAL SOLDIER ended in the middle of freaking nowhere. I can't believe no one's complained about it. This is as bad as the ending to CARPE DIEM, which, if I remember correctly, ended with "PLan B is now in effect." Well, thank yew very much for Nothing. This is the reason I avoid trilogies and decaseptologies until all the books are out. I WISH SOMEONE HAD WARNED ME so I could have waited till the next book came out. Really. One of the things I like about the latest Bujold (which I haven't read yet) is that it's part of a series but can be read on its own.

One last thing about CRYSTAL SOLDIER: I was amused that Jela, the hero, was shorter than Cantra, the heroine. Those of you who have seen Miller and Lee will remember that she is taller than he is. I can't remember, though, does Steve have a terrific set of shoulders, which appears to be Jela's most notable feature?--Edith

--CRYSTAL SOLDIER review page
--CRYSTAL SOLDIER at Amazon, The Great Migration Duology, Book 1

Replies: 2 Comments

Well, the subtitle of "The Great Migration Duology, Book 1" does indicate that it's half of a two-book set...;)

Posted by Meril @ 04/06/2005 10:01 PM ET

Some authors are able to pull off duologies and trilogies where each book ends in a relatively satisfying way. I really do like Miller & Lee's work (otherwise I wouldn't be buying their books in HB as soon as they come out) but IMO they need to work on their endings.

Patricia Briggs recently did a duology (Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood) which had a satisfying, natural ending to the first book, so it can be done. Martha Wells' latest trilogy also has the first two books end at comfortable pauses in action. Ditto Sharon Shinn's latest.

I know it's a crap shoot when I read a trilogy or duology and it's why I *generally* avoid reading them until all the books are out or unless there's a review which tells me a little about the tone of the ending.

Posted by Edith @ 04/10/2005 12:26 AM ET

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