Molly Fyde and the Land of Light(The Bern Saga Book 2) by Hugh Howey I can't say enough about how good this book is. Each world is richly drawn out it such a fashion that it helps explain the motivations of many of the important characters- from within the context of their cultures. The cultures are often derived around the worlds themselves and sometimes out of misconceptions or at least faulty conclusions as regards how the races perceive their world and their place in the universe. Molly Fyde comes from a universe that has taken several steps back for some unexplained reason as regards the attitude towards women. Many of her action seem to be driven by this and it become easy to see how she finds herself so enamored to Cole who so desperately wants to protect her from everything. He first has to figure out a way to protect her from herself and with Molly that's just not going to happen. It's enough to process that she still trusts him after he killed her uncle, but then her uncle was trying to kill her. Walter also would like to protect Molly and that makes him dangerous. In these books I notice a lot of similarities in the worlds and characters and themes to what I've seen in recent years among the popular Science Fiction and Sci-fi. For instance, there are ceremonies in here that kept bringing to mind the Mimbari of Babylon 5. There are features of the visit to Dakura that reminded me of Vanilla Sky. These are not bad things- they are handled well and move the story. This story has a lot to tell and it can almost become confusingly overwhelming. As usual there are few if any places our heroes might go where they will be safe from the fate that is creeping up on them. It is threatening to suck them in like the black-holes around them. Molly's goal is to find her father, but the path is never quite clear. Her mother, who seems now to reside in the ships computer is cryptic at best with her help. Molly is not even sure how much she can trust this person inside her ship. They have had to detour first and take Anlyn to Drenard. Getting out of there alive will be murder. Even then they will leave some of the crew behind. The next stop is Dakura where Molly finds that she is expected to destroy her mother's body so that someone named Byrne can't access her memories. There are so many things about Molly that seem to piece together like a fractured jigsaw puzzle that make the reader wonder what she is. Byrne thinks that she is important enough to try to snatch her. If I piece together her ability to do very fast calculations that most people rely on ship computers to do, and that she seems to always do the right thing even when she's not putting a lot of thought behind what she's doing, it makes me wonder. When she discovers that a race know as Bern are trying to open a gateway to our space in order to lay waste to humanity will she be able to stop them with her innate skill and luck? The stakes are getting higher and the threat is getting real. This is a great read for anyone who likes Sci-Fi or Science Fiction and fantasy and adventure and all the military political stuff of SF Military novels. J.L. Dobias
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