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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Recently read: "The A.I. War, Book One: The Big Boost" by Daniel Keys Moran

The A.I. War, Book One: The Big Boost

The A.I. War, Book One: The Big Boost (Tales of the Continuing Time)

Trent the Uncatchable is back!  It's been a long time waiting, but DKM has finally given us the next part of the "Continuing Time" story, and it focuses on Trent.  To me, it feels much more like "The Long Run" than "The Last Dancer" and most of his fans (myself included) are probably ok with that, since Trent is such a marvelous character.  There's also not much focus on the "Continuing Time" background, which, while I know Moran loves, is to me the weakest part of his writing.

The Unity is being built in Earth orbit, a seven kilometer long spacecraft, one of the largest artifact ever built by humans, and it is being built for one purpose: to bring the rest of the solar system (particularly Mars and the Belt) under Earth (Peaceforce) control.  Trent goes undercover aboard the Unity, planning on somehow derailing the Peacforce plans.  There, he will match wits with Melissa du Bois, a Peaceforcer Elite and eventually her boss, Peaceforcer Elite Commander Mohammed Vance.

Much of this book apparently was written years ago, but it still feels pretty fresh to me.  I've not done a re-read of The Long Run or The Last Dancer, but Trent still feels like Trent, and I didn't notice any glaring inconsistencies in the background.  The book opens with a marvelous set piece, as Trent (with a price on his head) is the focus of an assassination attempt in the Belt, and ends up playing hide and seek with a Peaceforce spaceship.  The bulk of the book has Trent aboard the Unity undercover, pretending to be the person in charge of the programming team.  His goal is to derail the project, and his final solution works well, and I certainly didn't see it coming.

The big flaw in the book is that it's "book one" of a trilogy, and it ends in a cliff hanger.  I can only hope that the wait for books 2 and 3 isn't anywhere near as long.

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