Need more Pepper
I have WAY too large a stack of books on my to read list, so I wasn’t really going to buy anything other than my target book, so I proceeded to read the Sly Mongoose excerpt in the back of the store’s copy of Ragamuffin … returning it to the shelf face out like a good fan. While I was standing there reading the back of Ragamuffin, I realized that I might not have expressed well enough how absolutely cool it was when I reviewed it recently, so here’s a bit extra (might be considered spoiler territory … this reviewer is currently vexed by that issue):
Nashara harbors a deadly secret which is quickly revealed, at least to the reader. She’s heavily modified and at her core, she’s become the physical embodiment of the traditional trojan horse malware. This technology is very experimental and the only other tests in the wild killed the vector as well as the target network.
With some time to plan, it’s possible that Nashara can do some amazing things with the weapon inside her. The weapon is treated over the course of the book like a nitroglycerin filled eggshell, imposing as many constraints on the narrative as it eventually opens up possibilities. When finally loosed in the midst of an epic space battle the end result, sacrifices and all, is quite satisfying both for the characters and the overall plot.
The ultimate target Nashara’s weapon is painted with shadows by the other storylines. Mind control and xenocide are the blunt tools of the enemy and while we’re only given the slightest glimpse into the ultimate motivation, the threat to humanity looms larger and larger as the story progresses.
My Locus magazines started showing up again, which pleases me greatly.