Wednesday, 13 July 2016
SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: AN ANCIENT PEACE BY TANYA HUFF
An Ancient Peace by Tanya Huff
With over 25 novels to her credit, Tanya Huff is a Canadian born fantasy author who has had her fiction stories published since the late 80s, five fantasy series and one science fiction series, the Blood Books featuring detective Vicki Nelson got adapted for TV under the name of Blood Ties.
The Confederation series consisted of five novels where gutsy heroine Torin Kerr and her crew battle the Others, a bunch of aliens who threaten the peace of their planet. Now, after such rave reviews from readers, Torin is back once again in a new series, The Peacekeeper novels of which this is the first. In An Ancient Peace, the war between the Confederation and the Others is at an end, but Torin has to investigate what the Others are planning as someone is suspected of searching for the lost weapons of the H'San, an alien race with the power to destroy planets. Torin and her ex-marine team have to find out if this suspicion is true as it could lead to war.
While only getting a few pages in, it is clear that Huff writes like an old school science fiction author. Remebering the greats such as; Elizabeth Bear, Damon Knight, Ray Bradbury, and Malorie Blackman hints that the wonderful days of these amazing writers is still around and Huff's long alien names and even darker characters and their reasons for being made bad and downright dangerous. Huff by now has had enought time to establish Torin's personality from the other five novels as the sort of woman who doesn't take no for an answer and can easily come out with a pun at a moment's notice - even when in danger. As Torin and her men aer in the case in a Justice Department op, they can't tell anyone about it, so they have to have explanations at the ready if they are under anyone elses scrutiny.
Amid all the aliens, if she failed in her mission, it's as though no one would miss her if she was captured or taken out in the line of fire. Torin is a tough fighter who also sees herself as having a duty to her marines. One of the lighter parts of the story is that swearing in space has changed a bit and sounds like it's straight out of a Heavy Metal story, Fuk is the new fu** and just as comical as the next, as quick fire humour isn't the word.
The whole point of the novel is for Torin and her marines to "Do what you must to stop the grave robbers. To stop a war. We've all seen too much war. That, Sergean Kerr, is the mission should you choose to accept it." And being almost exactly like Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible, she does. To make her investigation bertter or worse, depending on how you look at it, Presit the reporter gives her some sage advice, even though they had been following them. Huff again does a sterling job of making the alien sound alien, which mosstly and humouously translats as a kind of Jar Jar Binks style dialect. This and other characters are what maake the book seem like a great start to a series, just like the previous series.