The Legend of Banzai Maguire, by Susan Grant

>> Friday, July 16, 2004

The Legend of Banzai Maguire (excerpt), by Susan Grant is the first in a new futuristic series Dorchester will publish. I'm so happy futuristics are hot again!

The year: 2006. The mission: routine. Or so U.S.A.F. pilot Bree "Banzai" Maguire thinks. Then she's shot down over enemy airspace, captured and put in bio-stasis. When she wakes, everything's changed. It's one hundred and seventy years later.

2176: the world is in crisis, and Banzai's a hotly contested prize. Once, her job was to protect democracy; now a mysterious voice claims she must bring it back.

Two men vie for her heart. Kyber, her captor, the rich, ruthless Emperor Prince of Asia, has all a man could desire. Then there's U.C.E. SEAL commander and would-be rescuer Ty Armstrong. He has all the right moves. With two such choices, Banzai regrets she has but one heart to give for her country.
An intriguing start to the series, I'd grade it a B+.

The main strength of this book was the worldbuilding, which was really fascinating and fresh. Grant did a good job in setting it up, giving us just enough that the action here was understandable but still giving us some tantalizing hints of other things that will be explored in the next books. It definitely sounds complicated enough that it'll take all 5 books to explore. This is what I want in a futuristic! And BTW, the reviews of the next books sound really good, and I know that book 4 is by Patti O'Shea, an author whose only book so far I enjoyed very much.

The romance part of it all was ok, though not amazingly good. I liked Bree very much. She's a really kickass heroine and a very sympathetic one. Ty was less interesting, he was basically your garden variety SEAL hero, though he did have some interesting edges, like his ambiguity about the country he was defending. There's actually not a lot of focus on the romance, and that would be one of the very few negatives I found.

I did found that in certain ways this is very much destined to US readers (duh!) ;-) What I mean is, there are some patriotic rah-rah-rah things there, not about what the US is then (or rather, what the US became then), but about what it is and supposedly simbolizes now. I guess the intention was to make the reader feel proud and stir her patriotism, but well, not being American, my reaction was more in the line of snorting and muttering "Yeah, right". This is not too heavy-handed, though, so I was well able to ignore it.

Anyway, I'm really pumped about the series and am eagerly awaiting the next one (I know it's out already, I'm waiting for it to get here).


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