Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Wrong Lance (Splinter Universe Presents #2), by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

Pinbeam Books, October 2020

This is not a typical Liaden Universe story; it is, as it says right on the cover, non-canon. The events in this story are not considered to have actually happened in the Liaden Universe we know and love--because this is the first attempt at the start of Accepting the Lance.

It's a darker story, with Emmissary Twelve arriving very early, and a much more dangerous, beligerent Clutch person not just than Edger and his clan, but than Emissary Twelve is in Accepting the Lance. It goes in a darker direction, though I don't want to say too much, because it's a good read, and I don't want to spoil it for other readers.

It's also faster-paced than recent Liaden novels, more the rapid-fire pace of the first Liaden novel, Agent of Change. The duocycle rescue of Theo, in particular, is a high-speed, high-adrenaline chase to thrill and delight. Theo also makes decisions about her commitment to her family, that are important and satisfying.

There are also scenes here that we do also find in Accepting the Lance, and these are certainly the characters we know and care about. It's an exciting, satisfying read--and yet, I can see why Sharon Lee found, in the end, that the characters didn't want to continue with this version of it.

There's an intro and afterword, explaining how she got to the point of deciding this version just wouldn't work, and a follow-up tieing up the ends of that decision and the restart that became the published novel. This is, to be clear, just about 150 pages, not a full novel, just the start of one--but it does still have a conclusion that feels like a satisfying interim conclusion and set-up for the more that would have come.

Recommended for Liaden fans, who will appreciate the glimpse of Paths Not Taken.

I bought this book.

No comments:

Post a Comment