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Old 04-12-2018, 12:48 AM   #586
CRussel
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I think I know the answers to those, but I can't confirm until I do some re-reading myself.

ETA: From Local Custom: "History tells us that Master Wizard Rool Tiazan's lady lived in him after the death of her body"

As for Erob and dramliz talents? Nothing overt that I can remember or find.

Useful link -- Liaden Wiki

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Old 04-12-2018, 07:38 PM   #587
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Thanks for the Local Custom reference. You've reminded me of how interesting a story that was.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:58 AM   #588
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Yes, I was just thinking it's been a while since I re-read that one.
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Old 04-27-2018, 01:10 AM   #589
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Not sure if this is exactly the right thread to pass comment, but I've just finished reading Agent of Change* and I must profess some disappointment. I liked the characters, and I was never exactly bored - it moved along quite quickly - and the authors managed to immerse me in the new universe and cultures without overwhelming me (I really liked Edger and the whole Clutch thing with knives). But I got to the end and couldn't quite work out the point.

I tried to tell my wife what the story was about and could only come up with: guy meets gal and they try and save each other from all the people trying to kill them, and we get to the end and
Spoiler:
everyone still wants to kill them but they're safely stranded in the middle of nowhere where we can assume they will have lots of sex (and babies?) until someone picks them up so they can start over with the running away from people that want to kill them.


Was this a romance? Well, not really. The romance was there - albeit, it seemed, quite serendipitous and not overly convincing - but it didn't feel like a romance to read.

Was it about Val Con and the weird "Loop" thing? Well, since none of that was ever really explained with much clarity it doesn't seem likely. And if Van Con was supposed to be an Agent of Change, I can only ask:
Spoiler:
what change? Nothing changed in this book. Well, maybe the Loop thing changed, although it remained unclear exactly how much about it had changed - was it gone for good or what? And the really big question: Do I care?



All of which leaves me wondering whether I can be bothered looking any further. All you good folk seem to be enjoying yourselves, but do we ever get to books with a bit more substance? Maybe an actual plot or point? Or is it all like some great saga with no particular individual stories?


* I tend to read new series in order of publication. One of those OCD things that started when I was young.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:52 AM   #590
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I'm glad to hear that you read Agent of Change, and liked it. Your questions are quite valid. The Laiden universe is a true universe, with some very very large story arcs over many books and short stories. The plots are often quite large - the loop and Agent of Change motif doesn't really come to a head for a couple more books. Substance? Some books deal with invasions, planetary domination and betrayal - others with music festivals, trade decisions, and trying to get a piloting license.

Romance or not? Agent of Change is the first part of a romance. There will be more of Miri and Val Con later - I promise. Some of the books are more self contained (Balance and Trade) or more traditional romantic element (Local Custom and Scouts Progress).

So, whether to go on or not in the Laiden Universe? My dad, all unknowing, read some of short stories (the book was left next to his chair, he was bored, these things happen). He said they didn't seem to be complete - but liked the characters and continued reading.

I recommend going onwards - if just for the 7ft Clutch Turtles and robotic butlers. There can never be enough of those.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:56 AM   #591
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gmw,

I understand some of your concerns but Agent of Change was the start of a 4 book arc. So a lot of your questions and assumptions are answered in the remaining 3 books.

After Agent of Change is Carpe Diem then Plan B then I Dare.

I am far from a Liaden fanatic (and have only read about 7 books in the universe) but I did enjoy this 4 book arc.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:12 PM   #592
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The thing about the Liaden Universe in general is that it's far more character-driven than plot-driven. We follow what happens to people (in the broad, Liadens and Xtrang and self-aware robot butlers are still people, sense), not so much which crisis or plot element leads to which other. Sometimes that leads down side-roads, or into the short story portion of the Universe, but that's OK because Lee&Miller are able to write both short and long works effectively. And sometimes it's just interesting to know what happened to that taxi driver...

Reading the books in publication order isn't the worst choice, though there are multiple entry points into the Universe. Since you've started with Agent of Change, I'd go to Carpe Diem next.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:06 PM   #593
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Thanks, everyone, for your comments.

I would not have guessed Agent of Change was the start of a four book sequence. The authors/publisher give no such hint, and what I'd seen elsewhere (in omnibus and bundles) certainly don't indicate the relationship noted above. I'm fine with character driven stories, but that doesn't usually exclude having a plot, a raison d'être which seemed to be missing from Agent of Change.

Perhaps it may be better to simply say that it was not what I expected. I have a sneaky suspicion that this just isn't my cup of tea. I might come back and try Carpe Diem later. It's possible I will be more receptive when I'm in a different mood.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:33 PM   #594
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Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Thanks, everyone, for your comments.

I would not have guessed Agent of Change was the start of a four book sequence. The authors/publisher give no such hint, and what I'd seen elsewhere (in omnibus and bundles) certainly don't indicate the relationship noted above. I'm fine with character driven stories, but that doesn't usually exclude having a plot, a raison d'être which seemed to be missing from Agent of Change.

Perhaps it may be better to simply say that it was not what I expected. I have a sneaky suspicion that this just isn't my cup of tea. I might come back and try Carpe Diem later. It's possible I will be more receptive when I'm in a different mood.
Then I refer you to the first post in this thread.

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Old 04-28-2018, 03:22 AM   #595
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Thanks. But notice that even that diagram doesn't actually specify where story arcs span the books - the reader is left to presume that from the colour coding, but it's all rather vague about where things actually start and end.

Does red mean you're starting Lord of the Rings at The Two Towers, or that you're starting Discworld at Men At Arms ? I get the impression that with Liaden the answer is somewhere in between. They lose me in that "somewhere".

Is reaching I Dare like reaching The Return of the King, or like ... I don't know, the end of a Dallas series and wondering "Who shot JR"? (I read about it. I don't care who shot JR, I'm just glad they did.)

I prefer my authors to be a bit clearer about what I'm committing to. For example, I did not like Game of Thrones, dropping out after the first book. (Since I didn't care who lived or who died - except the dwarf, I liked the dwarf, he's about the only one I remember all this time later - I figured I'd happier looking for something else to read.)
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