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Obligation: Book Two of Pledge of Honor, by Lori L. Anderson Book Review | SFReader.com
Obligation: Book Two of Pledge of Honor, by Lori L. Anderson Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Xlibris Published: 2003 Review Posted: 1/20/2005 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10
Obligation: Book Two of Pledge of Honor, by Lori L. Anderson
Book Review by Paul Goat Allen
Have you read this book?
Obligation, the sequel to Lori L. Anderson's debut novel, Pledge of Honor, is a markedly more polished - and far more entertaining - novel than its predecessor. While Pledge of Honor lacked creative refinement, descriptive detail and overall intensity, Obligation begins abundantly self-confident with breakneck pacing and really plays to the author's strengths, which is emotional entanglements and themes dealing with romance and relationships.
The story of Jamie MacGivens, the American woman abducted by aliens, and Keenu, the heroic leader of the Elosians who helped her escape her alien captors, continues in Obligation. When Jamie and Keenu return to Elos to begin their new life together they find the Elosian settlement destroyed and its people slaughtered or missing. The Berloff - the villainous race that abducted Jamie and many Elosians - has evidently vowed revenge for the murder of their leader (events that transpired in Pledge of Honor). After killing most of the Elosians in Keenu's home village, a survivor relays the Berloff's message to Keenu and Jamie - return Jamie into Berloff custody in exchange for the lives of Keenu's parents.
When Jamie honorably decides to give herself up in order to save Keenu's parents, she sets into motion a heroic journey of self-discovery that will lead her through a forsaken desert, into a bizarre realm inhabited by shape-shifters and, ultimately, closer to the love of her life. Powered by wonderfully entertaining, fully realized characters - Taren, Melynn, Dolan, etc. - and filled with equally entertaining prophecies and curses, Obligation is a giant step forward for Anderson.
Although the author still doesn't focus much on background and world building, the energy and depth of the plot lines involving Jamie and Keenu's relationship easily make up for it in this volume. It's evident that the author is becoming more comfortable not only in her writing ability but also in her fictitious universe. I felt genuine creativity - and confidence - in Obligation, something that was sadly lacking in Pledge of Honor. Here's one reader looking forward to the third and concluding installment of Anderson's Pledge of Honor trilogy. Bravo!
Paul Goat Allen is the editor of Barnes & Noble's Explorations science fiction/fantasy book review and is the author of Burning Sticks, Old Winding Way and Warlock Dreams.
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