RogerBW's Blog

The Service of Mars, Glynn Stewart 05 February 2024

2020 SF, ninth of its series. The forces of Mars work to clear up the débris from the big rebellion; for one thing, nobody's actually found their government…

Most of this is seen through the viewpoint of Roslyn Chambers, plucked off the street a few books ago, now gone through naval training and serving as an admiral's flag lieutenant. (Years have passed, to be fair.) That puts her in place to see the big space battles, as well as to be on the spot when the admiral is attacked. Meanwhle, Kelly LaMonte and her stealth ship are sent on covert observation missions to try to work out where various enemy facilities might be located.

I really like the technical business with the stealth ship; obviously it doesn't work at all without magic, but it has very specific limitations, and the enemy is working out countermeasures. Too many writers are prone to see a piece of shiny tech as something that will change the course of events by itself, but this is only one piece in a very large puzzle that continues to evolve.

I'm not sure the attack on the admiral really works on a technical level; there's a reason we have real authentication on orders rather than just someone's signature. But what follows is much more interesting, giving a welcome view into the enemy's philosophy and the stories they tell themselves to let them sleep at night.

Not perfect, and in particular if you want more Damian you'll be disappointed, but enjoyable as Stewart always is.

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Previous in series: Mountain of Mars | Series: Starship's Mage

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