Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Insurgents, by Margaret Ball



The short version review can be found on Amazon here. Check it out, and I can use the votes if you find the review helpful.

When you have literate friends, you are always going to be prompted to read new material. This is TRULY important for someone like myself, by which I mean the kind of person who reads no newspapers, watches no TV, subscribes to no magazines. I'm sure that the latest lovely works are being promoted in all the customary places, but I pay less attention to those than I do to the occasional coffee stain on my monitor. (I get those from time to time, because I read something goofy, and spew coffee through my nose.) I frequent one or two Facebook sites, subscribe to a couple of blogs, and that's it. Literate friends post in those places, and I use their research to my advantage.

So a couple of weeks ago, some of my literate were raving about Margaret Ball, and her latest book. I do not know this Margaret person, and perhaps that means that my environment is sealed just a bit too severely. Couldn't say. Don't really care. But one thing was clear: Margaret Ball issuing a new work was making people run around in circles, emitting squee noises; people whose opinions I respect.

So, I figured, I'll get the book. Assorted Huns and Mad Genius types like her work, it's worth a try.

Then, I looked at the cover art.

Oh, my.

This is the kind of art that screams to me : "DO NOT GET THIS BOOK!"  It is very well executed, I should make that clear. It's just that it trumpets 'ROMANCE' to me, and romance, dear friends, is something I do.not.like(true). My gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, likes romance. She also likes Hallmark movies. Especially Christmas movies. I wouldn't mind that so much, if she didn't want ME to watch them WITH her. 

And this looked like the kind of book she would read. There is a beautiful blond woman, staring dreamily off into the distance; standing behind her is Mr. Tall Darkan Handsome. He gazes on her with just the right amount of love and intrigue in his eyes...

STOP THE MADNESS!!!

But, despite the cover, I got the book.

And it's great! It's not a cow-eyed romance at all, although there IS love and affection exchanged between the two characters portrayed on the cover.

It's an adventure story, with intrigue, and treachery, and adherence to principles, and honor, and all of the good sorts of things that produce a nicely done story. It is, I suppose, going to be forced to bear a YA label, just because there isn't any naughty language or scenes with heaving whatevers. Don't let that YA thing put you off, though. It's a great read. And this recommendation is from a guy who left off reading this book and immediately for sheer reading pleasure picked up one of Ringo's earliest Baen books, about the Posleen invasion.

The core story is that on a planet far, far away, a group of idealists have formed their society, and now demand everyone else conform to the terms of their perfect social order, or be deported. Eventually, that's not only murderers and thieves, it's anybody who has an innovation in mind.

The penal colony rebels. The parent civilization sends governors who repress, and then a general to rescue the governor. And he takes his daughter along.

That's her on the cover. And that's one of the lead rebels standing behind her.

But it's not a romance! Oh, my, NO! It's an ADVENTURE story!

Get the book!

Peace be on your household.

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