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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cobra Gamble

Cobra Gamble (Cobra War #3)
by Timothy Zahn
(3/5 stars)

Before I read this I wanted to go and read the first two books in the series.  This was much easier said than done, since apparently the first two are not in print, nor are they available in ereader format.  I eventually had to buy one used and the other I lucked out and found at a discount store.  An even bigger problem is that this trilogy--or what right now is a trilogy--is the sequel to a previous trilogy that went out of print about 20 years ago.  I only read the last two books of that series a few years ago.

Unfortunately if you aren't familiar with all those previous, out-of-print books then you're kind of luck.  You really won't have much idea what the Cobras are or the Cobra Worlds or the Trofts or Qasama, let alone know what happened on Qasama in those books from over 20 years ago.  Maybe you can look on Wikipedia for a plot summary or something.

Anyway, this book picks up where the two before it left off.  The Trofts have invaded the Cobra Worlds and Qasama to conquer the humans on those planets.  The heroic Moreau-Broom clan has taken some equipment to Qasama to help the rival Qasamans train Cobras of their own.  They believe that the Trofts have abandoned the place only to get there and find out the Trofts have returned in even greater numbers.

From there it's a battle to rid Qasama of the Trofts once and for all.  The end promises that there could be at least one more book, if not another trilogy or so.

Anyway, I've read a lot of Zahns books and found all three of these Cobra War books to be disappointing.  They definitely aren't as good as his original Star Wars books or even the Conqueror's trilogy that shares some similarities with this in the Cobra War books in that both feature a family caught in the middle of everything.

I think what bothered me the most was most of the characters seemed interchangeable.  If the names had been blacked out I couldn't have told you which one was Lorne or Merrick or Paul or even Jasmine and Jody.  They're all the same bland, capable characters.  And strangely they all figure only minorly in the ending.  I really expected more of a contribution from them since they were the focal point of the series.

Maybe it was just with all the effort it took to get these I expected a little more.  At any rate I was disappointed.  They are OK light sci-fi but the author has a lot better to read.

That is all.

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