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WARNING, WHOPPING SPOILERS AHEAD. I write these pages as notes, records and reminders to myself of books I have read. You are welcome to peruse these reviews, but be warned that they will spoil your reading pleasure if you have not already read them.
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Rules of Engagement   by Elizabeth Moon

Read: 2004-02-28 Reviewed: 2004-03-14
Re-read factor:
It's got everything that soft sci-fi should have: action and adventure, on-planet, off-planet and interstellar backdrops, strong human emotions and complex interactions.

Unfortunately it also has a few problems, the main one being the difficult time-line. A woman is captured by a bunch of extremeists, and during her captivity endures a long period in confinement, then has a forced pregnancy, and then nurtures her new-born twins. This must take place over something like two years. While this is going on, the girl's family are arguing amongst themselves, playing some family politics, and searching for her. But the latter storyline reads as if it takes place in a few weeks.

While the former storyline is told with some conviction, the latter one is rather fragmented, and the emotions of the girl's family are, er, funny. At least they don't seem realistic.

The family eventually work out where the girl is more by unlikely coincidence than design.

The main thread which runs through the plot is that the girl falls out with someone (the heroine) at the beginning of the book, who strives and eventually succeeds in becoming her saviour. However, this storyline isn't very strong, and the love interest which precipitates the dispute is a bit feeble. Generally, the characters do not seem to mesh with each other properly.

All things considered, this is a fair addition to the Serrano sequence (although Herris Serrano only plays a cameo role), but has nothing of the sharpness of the original offering. Definitely lacking in some attention to detail.

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