Somehow, I keep on getting the second book in a series for review. Previously, it was “Rise of the Iron Moon” by Stephen Hunt. Each time I’m presented with the second book I’m aware of the risk jumping in on a story already in progress. I don’t know the characters, I don’t know the world, and if the writer is too dependent on the reader knowing what has gone before, there’s a chance that they’ll either bare-bones the details, or even worse, take too much time encapsulating the previous volume, killing forward progression.
“The Unincorporated War” luckily doesn’t fall into either of those traps.
“The Unincorporated War” by Dani and Eytan Kollin is the follow-up to 2009’s Prometheus Award Best Novel of the Year “The Unincorporated Man.” Giving a quick read over at Amazon to see what others thought of this book makes me almost glad that I haven’t gotten around to “The Unincorporated Man.” It seems that people reading this series in order were sufficiently let down to bother taking the time to write unflattering one and two star reviews.
It’s a full out war between the unincorporated outer planets and the corporate controlled earth. Justin Cord, the Unincorporated Man (“owned by no one and owning no one”) leads the outer planets against the corporate overlords back on Earth. It’s the second American Revolution, with the corporate owned colonists yearning to breathe free.
* Wars in space (and wars in general) take a lot of time. Time to get there, time to build the necessary munitions and ships. The Kollins do a masterful job of progressing the war by cutting away from battles to newscasts and reactions of individuals to the outcomes. I never felt like I was slogging through months and years to get to the good parts.
* Characterizations are top notch. There is a large cast spread out across multiple locations across many years. At no point did I forget who someone was or confuse one character for another.
* While I enjoyed the characters, our man Big Bad, President Hektor Sambianco, stays in my mind as more of a moustache twirling baddie with his only motivation being more power, more control, and an inability to accept anything less than the complete destruction of his enemies. Pretty broad strokes paint this character…perhaps he’s better defined in the first book?
* The ending felt very “Han Solo encased in Carbonite.”
I enjoyed this book a lot, and look forward to the eventual final chapter. Highly recommended.