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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2007-06-04 18:02
Subject: #147 Elizabeth Moon: Once a Hero (The Serrano Legacy #4)
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Tags:books, reviews
Elizabeth Moon: Once a Hero (The Serrano Legacy #4)

Paperback: 410 pages
Publisher: Orbit (20 Jan 2000)
Language English
ISBN-10: 1857239563
ISBN-13: 978-1857239560
Category(ies): SF

After the first trilogy dealing with Heris Serrano, the focus in this fourth book now shifts to the scan tech who lead a successful mutiny against treacherous command in the previous book. How did Esmay Suiza turn from a quite, unobtrusive technical officer into a leader who could retake a ship, and then lead it into a battle where it could defeat a much larger enemy?

Well, Suiza does have to undergo a court martial first - not totally unexpected for someone leading a mutiny. And then she returns to her native planet (where, surprise surprise, we find out that her family are (a) military and (b) pretty well own the whole place - did I say that Moon keeps returning to certain themes?). But while there, she discovers matters about her own family and childhood that explain quite how she ended up where she had been. And then, she gets posted to a Deep Space Repair vessel, seemingly a quiet, out-of-the-way posting. After all, what chance is there going to be of a giant mobile repair yard needing to call upon her unorthodox command skills?

Of course, lightning usually does strike more than once in the same place, or the lightning conductor would never have been invented.

What works best in this book is the examination of the first question - if Suiza was by nature a commander, why had she avoided the command track. The depth to which she'd buried her childhood self (even to the extent of no longer liking horses - of course, this wouldn't be the Serrano Legacy without horses) is nicely revealed, and Suiza does change during the course of this story, even though she's probably never going to become a 'Bubbles' Brun.

A new direction for what is no longer a series concentrating on the Serrano family.
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