There are times when I'm not completely wise about the way I might read a book or series. In this case, for some weird reason, decided to buy three books from a SciFi series. That's not the issue - the issue is that I'd never read or even heard of this author, and yet I STILL bought not one, nope - not two, but THREE books. Luckily I picked the first three and yes - even almost bought the fourth -would have, but it wasn't there on the store shelf. I must have been bored.
So here's the thing....
(by the way...There will be spoilers, because....well, there's going to be spoilers. No names, but spoilers)
Here's the thing - I began by reading The Myriad (Tour of Merrimack #1). Wasn't too into the characters in the beginning. Read quite a few books after putting it aside....For some reason, I then decided to pick of Wolf Star (Tour of Merrimack #2). Now this book I enjoyed. So much. So much that I decided to go ahead and read #1 again...
My confusion: Seems The Myriad begins right where Wolfstar ends. Indeed, characters that are dead by the end of Wolfstar are alive again even though the events seem to be AFTER the end of Wolfstar. Feeling a little confused, I of course skip to the middle where some of these same dead/alive characters have died again. Then or course, I skip close to the end and find these same characters who have died twice now, breathing again. OMG it was driving me crazy (admittedly, not a long drive) and then remembered - Girl, (okay, slightly OLD girl) this is SCIENCE FICTION. So then I relaxed and just sat back and read the first book - which I should have read before reading the second - only if I hadn't read the second book, I probably wouldn't have read the first book - Oh Jeez, it's a PARADOX!!!! And of course, having enjoyed the second book, which lead to me reading the first book, taking a shortlived drive to crazytown, then relaxing and reading first book - I enjoyed the hell out of it.
So now I'm reading the third book. Hoping that some of the characters will get back to.....well, those are spoilers that I'm not going to give. I am hoping to come across some of the still alive characters though. Fun series.
The Myriad - by R.M. Meluch. John Farragut is a wild card captain of the U.S.S Merrimack, a space ship of huge proportions that travels space protecting U.S. interests, and in general causing havoc, saving lives, surviving chaos, etc. There are quite a few side or secondary characters who are just as interesting to read as the captain. Kerry Blue, one of the Marine "grunts", T.R. Steele the head of the Marines on board the Merrimack, Glenn "Hamster" Hamilton who is a female officer of the ship; Callie Carmel, another officer who is impossibly beautiful; Augustus, a Roman augmented man/machine patterner. There are many more and Meluch brings their characters to life on the pages of The Myriad. While on the trail of a rabid eating hive of well...Eaters, they stumble across a set of three planets that have never been noticed. Of course, these three planets are in the middle of a globular cluster of stars, which apparently is unheard of. I don't even pretend to understand all the SciFi information about stars, probabilties, gas giants, planets, etc. I just read the novels, sit back and enjoy (when I'm not going crazy because I've forgotten that I'm reading SCI FI, LOL). The Merrimack seems to have lost the trail of these eating monsters (which are very deadly and hard to kill) and they make contact with one of the planets' people - these people have darkish coloring, are humanoid and the males are short with manes traveling down their backs; the females are tall and subservient to the men.
Wolf Star - the second novel in the series, yet the first novel I read - has the Merrimack not only fighting the Romans, but dealing with the Gorgons (those pesky eating machines). There is much more to both stories, but I've already let loose with enough spoilers.
What I enjoy about the series so far - besides the crazed plot and events - is the narrative style and the dialogue. Meluch does a great job with dialogue. Sometimes when reading a book, you KNOW you are reading dialogue. Other times, it's such a seamless part of the story that you almost forget you're actually reading a novel. Know what I mean? It's hard for me to emphasize enough how important dialogue is to me while reading. But Meluch does a great job of writing dialogue. The narrative is damned good too - it just flows. Now that I've read both books, I'm not sure why exactly I put aside The Myriad the first time I read it. I think I just hadn't really become absorbed by the character of Farragut yet - who is one of those annoyingly charismatic leader who you can't help but become fond of - even though at first you might not like him. Ever meet anyone like that? They are so good at seemingly letting things roll off their backs, so easygoing that it's refreshing when they show their beserker side - and Farragut loves a good fight. He's also sly like a fox - only one is never sure if it's by accident or for real. Either way, once you get used to his sheer exuberance, he's one of the favorite characters.
The other night, after being very close to finishing the second book (really the first book, but the second one I read) I went to the bookstore and found the fourth book - luckily in paperback. Strength and Honor is the fourth book. I'm currently reading the third - The Sagitarious Command. While looking around for excerpts, I found out that there's even a fifth novel titled The Ninth Circle, which was released in hardcover November 2011. I guess I have a bit to wait for that one; very few authors are going to be my hardcover purchases from now on. (way too many of them are going to hardcover - which I think is a fine way for the publishing houses to reward the fans that loyally purchase books...but that's a soapbox topic). At least I'll know that there's books coming in the future that I'll want to read. Something to look forward to, right? - waiting for them to come out in paperback. Silver lining to every cloud - cough, cough.
If you like your SciFi kind of crazed with lots of twists, turns, some gore (not too bad) and suspense with a teeny bit of romance, then this will be a great series to read. It's got it all, light on the romance (no heaving bosoms, but there are some lingering hot looks - though not a huge part of the stories), heavy on action, great dialogue with laughs and sarcasm; wonderful characters who are can be full of honor and yet can surprise you. This series is really feeding my SciFi cravings. :)