Review: Rift in the Sky, by Julie E Czerneda

This is the third and concluding Stratification book, telling the story about Aryl Sarc but also about how the Clan ended up in space, in the position and situation they occupy in the Trade Pact trilogy.

In books one and two we got to know Aryl and the people that surrounds her. In this book the imperative imposed on the author is they MUST get off Cersi, NOW. Accordingly that is what happens, and not at all in a way that is satisfactory to the reader.

No, I don’t say an author has to write feel-good stories. I’m saying sometimes the story, and the length of the story – the actual number of pages, forces the author to invent implausible plot devices. When the newly named M’hiray Clan arrives at Stonerim III, that is what happens. The removal of some of their memories, the shearing off of the connection with the O’mray, the cursory way the story is told. Not what I have come to expect from Czerneda.

While part one – Reap the wild Wind – felt like it was good on it’s own and with part two – Riders of the Storm – was well worth reading part three felt crippled, forced, by comparison. Maybe this is because I hadn’t read the Trade Pact trilogy first. I guess a lot of the more inexplicable things that happens has justification in those books, or maybe in the sequel Czerneda is planning. As I like her other books, this far, I’m willing to forgive her, to go on reading the rest of the Clan Chronicles. I would, however, not recommend this book on it’s own.
As a part of a greater story arc it is acceptable, though.


Review: Riders of the Storm, by Julie E Czerneda

Some books are almost impossible to review. Riders of the Storm is one of those. While reading it (it’s book 2 of 3 in the Stratification Trilogy) I was immersed in the story but when my head popped out of the book, after the last word left my retina… I just don’t know what to think.

In the first book (Reap the Wild Wind) I felt grateful that she – Czerneda, author of these books – didn’t let her characters drown in needless romantic involvements. True, there were hints of possibilities, but nothing overt. This is also, partly, how this, the second book, starts.

Book one focuses on how change and evolution is inevitable, that not even the strictest rule/r can stop it from happen, and that knowledge – if not understanding – can be a facilitator for such change.

In this second instalment focus has shifted to look at consequences, what happens when you do things without understanding the larger context, but it’s also about taking responsibility and about society; what do a society need to sustain itself?
This is the main storyline, carried by the young woman Aryl Sarc.

The second storyline, or point of view, is that of Enris Mendolar. His use is to provide character depth and back story to some of the supporting cast, and to convey a wider, more complex, picture of the world than one person – Aryl – possibly can provide. This works well. Until the last handful of pages. I can forgive that, it’s a good read. But I think it was a bit too much, even given what happens is founded in the previous 800+ pages of the story. It’s also more romance than this books needs.

All in all a good read; I look forward to reading part three, whenever it arrives in my mailbox.
But be prepared for some truly deus ex machina moments, however consistent with the described world they may be. (Hint – on Star Trek they originally invented the ‘transporter’ so the cast could go places without spending TV time/production cost on being ferried around…)

Review: Reap the Wild Wind, by Julie E Czerneda

The Oud, the Tikitik and the Om’ray all live on the planet Cersi, three sentient species that share little beyond a common language and an Agreement stipulating the rules of co-existence.

The Yena Om’ray lead a marginalised and secluded life, deep in the Lay Swamp, when one Harvest is disturbed by a foreign thing exploding in the air, taking both Harvest and harvesters with it. When they fail to meet the expectations of the Tikitik, coming to take their share of the harvest that’s not there the world as Aryl Sarc knows it changes. Forever.

The journey thus begins…

Populated with strong characters this well paced story is the starting point of a tale longer and larger than this single volume. Without having read parts two and three of the Stratification trilogy I none the less recommend Reap the wild wind to anyone who has a thing for this kind of yarn.

Society transforming

As we are at the end of a year I find it appropriate to think about age and ageing. In many ways this leads to thinking about work, as of being part of the work force.

As we in the western hemisphere tends to get older and older we’re also supposed to keep on working. As the number of jobs actually available don’t increase this means a lot of young/er people not getting a foot in. The consequence of this is a lot of people not seeing themselves to have a future inside the established economy.

How will that affect our society?

(Not mentioning the fact that a lot of people don’t want to go on working – a lot of us would like to be able to work less, thankyouverymuch, if it wasn’t for the need to pay our bills and for the simple fact money buys things we want.)

(Not mentioning the fact, either, that growing older and older is not necessarily a good thing – those of us not going with cancer are doomed to a life of slowly failing bodies, at the mercy of relatives and the community. A prolonged pain, for certain.)