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Curmudgeon Review: Into the Hinterlands

Into the Hinterlands by David Drake and John Lambshead

hinterlands

Fair warning, I think David Drake is the best author working today. That being said he is human, some of his work is better than others.  John Lambshead is a British author that has done work for Baen. I have had some slight on line encounters with him  but have formed no opinion nor have I read any other of  his works.

The book starts slowly and picks up its pace about 3 chapters in. The book is the first of several which retell the story of George Washington in a SF setting. The usual gimmicks for such storytelling apply, “framecycles” to travel the wilderness of inter stellar space instead of canoes to travel the wilderness of colonial America. While I find a few problems with the story, such as the Indian analogues are “scientifically” not quite up to being human and using Brazilia to stand in for Britain feels a bit forced. Many of the characters feel true to life on the frontier, but many feel like forced analogs. If you are familiar with the early life of Washington you will know what the story is based upon without forewarning. Drake has done this several times before, most notably  in his Belisarius series. This one is reasonably well done, better than the Green Mountain Boys analogs he did in Patriots, not as good as his Belisaurius analogs. I would recommend reading it provisionally. It is decent, a good read but not a great book. I will be picking up the next in the series. Lambshead works reasonably well with Drake, better than Stirling, not as well as Flint. That may mean that Drake simply trusted Lambshead to do a good job, it may mean that Flint is simply better at melding his style with others.

Final Verdict: Decent Book, but you won’t kick yourself if you find it second hand in 10 years and realize you missed it when published.

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