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Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
book cover

Liaden Universe Book 6,7
2001 March, Meisha Merlin

Who recommends: Suzanne, JW, Shelley, Edith, Leila, Preeti, Linda, Robin, Leila
Who discommends:

Very enjoyable. Both of these stories focus very intensely on the relationships; just what I like.--JW (16 Apr 01)

On another note - Just finished Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's PILOTS CHOICE and loved it!! The books are about the parents of the characters in the first four books and I really enjoyed both the individual stories and the backround. Very well done, with the great bits of humor running through both novels. I really like the fact that so much of the humor they include is based on manners, witty dialog and whimsy - I think this type of humor is so much more difficult to portray than slap stick but is also much funnier when done correctly. It is also the type of humor that can be revisited as watching the joke unfold is as enjoyable as any eventual punchline. I also appreciate the fact that their characters are such individuals - the two foster brothers have very distinct personalities. They avoided the trap of making them carbon copies of each other.

The chapters are headed either by log entries from the founder of the Korval Clan or by quotes. After reading all of the log enteries I am really hoping that Lee and Miller tell the story of Cantra and the founding of the Clan - the voice they have created for the log entries is very interesting.--Shelley (11 May 01)

Recommend. I take back my complaint about the price. I was taken aback by the price because I thought this was two chintzy novellas for $20 (tpb) but it's two *complete* books!! Enjoyed these a lot. I particularly liked how they wove humor into the angst and seriousness. I've put off reading PLAN B because I knew I'd have to reread the trilogy but now I've moved those 'way up the TBR pile.--Edith (14 Jul 01)

I haven't read this one yet but I had the exact feeling about the price. For some reason I too had thought it would be more like 2 short novellas in one book. Probably because Plan B was such a thin book. So at least I feel I got my moneys worth.--Linda (14 Jul 01)

...better yet, PILOTS CHOICE. Fantastic stuff that. Certainly took me out of the reading slump Ive been in for the past few months. Thank you to all of you who have recommended it. The exquisite irony of some of the polite exchanges in Liaden life was a delight.--Leila (01 Aug 01)

I've been meaning to post on finally reading LOCAL CUSTOM in PILOTS CHOICE. What a great read! It's a lovely, lovely story of two lovers from totally different worlds (literally and figuratively) whose sense of honor and love overcome the obstacles in their path (i.e.-meddling families, cultural misunderstandings, unspoken feelings, threats from without, etc.) Any romance reader will feel right at home in the midst of this story. Despite all the standard romance elements, what makes LOCAL CUSTOM special is the obvious care Lee and Miller put into crafting witty dialogue and playful (well, sometimes dangerous) undercurrents. Just delightful.--Preeti (04 Nov 01)

I finally read the second book in PILOTS CHOICE, called SCOUT'S PROGRESS. Another wonderful read. A brilliant Liaden woman who's been abused most of her life makes a desperate bid for independence from her family by learning to become a pilot in secret. Daav yos'Phelium, head of Clan Korval, is about to make a depressing marriage of convenience, and decides to shuck his worries for a while by going about in disguise. The lives of the two intersect at the Binjali Repair shop, where a seemingly hopeless romance blossoms with the help of comrades and a truly obstinate sentient tree.

You know, I've bought PILOTS CHOICE as a hardcover and a trade paperback, but I'm considering buying the mass market pbs when they come out, too. These are really good books.--Preeti (24 Dec 01)

At the risk of being a pill... a me too message. I find these books beautifully written, where relationships are described with a wonderfully gentle touch. I can't tell at all where one writer starts & the other ends.

SCOUT'S PROGRESS is the one that has this wonderful scene where the head of a family visits a dissolute clan member and compliments him on the efficiency of his living arrangements: getting up late so as to combine breakfast and lunch. A brilliant set-down, that had the gambler cringing. The whole thing, done in no more than 3 lines encapsulates beautifully the formality of Liaden life. I adored this scene.--Leila (24 Dec 01)

I finally got a chance to read PILOTS CHOICE and highly recommend it also. I'm so glad everyone's comments on it moved it to the top of my tbr pile. I loved it and found it well worth the money spent.

It's hard to say which of the two stories I loved most. Romance wise, possibly LOCAL CUSTOM edged out because both Er Thom and Anne were in love through the whole book. I had been leery of this romance because they had been involved before and he had terminated the relationship. It wasn't until I started reading the story that I realized how impossible it was by Liaden standards for Er Thom to be allowed to marry Anne, and that a lack of feeling had nothing to do with why he left her.

The second book is more about a man and a woman becoming friends and the relationship growing from there. I really like this whole lifemate principle in these books. Excellent stories both. I had forgotten, or perhaps just learned in more detail in these books, the rules and customs of this mannered Liaden society. Kind of reminded me in a little way of the things I enjoy about A CIVIL CAMPAIGN by Lois McMaster Bujold. Though not a copy in any way.--Linda (04 Jan 02)

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