Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Crusade by Taylor Anderson (review)

Title: Crusade
Author: Taylor Anderson
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 380
Genre: Fiction
Dewey Decimal: F And
ISBN: 978-0-451-46230-5
Cost: $23.95

Now, his first book, Into the Storm, was okay. Clearly not in the league of S. M. Stirling*, but decent enough to read the next book in the series.

His second book follows much in the same vein, but shows some signs of improvement. There are certain aspects that I still don't much like (especially the pacing), but Anderson seems to have gotten better at his craft. The characters are developing (slowly) and the action has certainly picked up a notch (and far outpaces the first book). Anderson shows clearly he knows about battle at sea and on land. His Grik bad guys and Cat-Monkey (or Monkey-Cat) good guys make for an interesting twist on the "normal" alternate-history genre.

What I noticed most about this installment was the humor (it's getting better and is well placed) and the dialogue. Certain characters seem to have these two or three page speeches throughout the book with big blocks of action surrounding it. While certain books couldn't support this style, Anderson does well with it.

* You may notice I've made several references to S. M. Stirling when I talk about Anderson's work. There are many reasons for that. Primary among them is the blurb Stirling did for the cover. It was a big reason I started the series. Second, Stirling writes in the same alternate-history genre and does well. Finally, I'm a fan of the genre and Stirling. So he's a good yardstick for me to compare others to.

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