A Soldier’s Duty (Theirs Not To Reason Why), Ace, ISBN 978-0-411-02063-8, 422 pgs, $7.99

Spaced babe (Intergalactic Beauty)

This is the first book in a new series (how do they know that prior to publishing a book? Is this hopeful thinking on the part of the publisher?  Are there other books already written?  Bought?  What if this book tanks?  So many questions!).  Ia is a pre-cog.  That is she has visions of the future, or possible futures.  The closer the future the more she can adapt to the situation to either change it or make it happen.  She also has visions of the far future. In these the path is less visible although there.  For Ia her vision requires her to join the military and to not just succeed but to excel–and to do it in a way that keeps her pre-cog ability under wraps.  Ia must, essentially, cheat to create an ideal that is not her.  It’s a dilemma.  Of course if your life takes you somewhere are you not the one who is there?

Jean Johnson is best known for her ‘Sons of Destiny’ paranormal series.  With this series she veers off a bit into Sf although with a distinct paranormal flavor.  The writing is very good and if the story is a bit straightforward and linear then it’s a tough plot to wrangle, having your character know the future but needing to walk that line between what the character knows and what the reader wants.  It’s tough as well to build tension in this kind of situation.  But Johnson manages it through the device of multiple futures so that there is not one way but multiple ways , although in a book this long it’s fairly obvious that the main character succeeds and it’s the writer’s job to keep the reader guessing as to how exactly that happens.
I liked the book.  It is fairly fast paced, the characters are interesting and while it occasionally dips into fannish socialism it does not happen enough to become too annoying and those who don’t know the reference may not even notice.  I’m definitely planning on reading the next book out to see how Johnson manages things.  For those of you still at the beach it’s a good choice.  Would also make a great book to read on the train or plane.  Definitely recommended.
To get your own copy of the book, just click here: A Soldier’s Duty (Theirs Not to Reason Why)

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About damnaliens
Writer, reviewer, home provider to the Damnaliens

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