An english blog post as an exception - for a reason.
Several days ago I started to read the free ibook In Her Name, First Contact by Michael R. Hicks. I read a lot of books and my favorite are scifi novels. And I usually only read german books (since that's my mother language). Then I stumbled open this ebook and thought to me: give it a try, what about an english book?
What started as an experiment turned very quickly into excitement. This is the first english novel I've ever read. I did read a lot of english stuff, like manpages, howto's, software readme's and the like, but not novels. Too complicated. Some years ago I tried to read John Keats. But guess how it went...
Now, this is a very new experience for me. While on the first pages I still had some difficulties, but they went away. And now I read it as fast as I read german books. I don't translate it in my brain anyway, I just understand it as it is. This is indeed a very great feeling though. Somewhere in the book some people talked and one told the other a time: eighteen hundred and fourty. That took me out of context completely. Not because I didn't understand, but because I DID. For this to understand one needs to know how it sounds for a german to watch american movies where such military time specifications are used: Null Achthundert Vierzig. I'm so used to this kind and just wondered once I stumbled upon it in the original english form - which I didn't have in mind. But I understood it immediately. Weird and wonderfull how the brain works...
Then, how is the book? I just love it! I love the characters, the story behind, the space stuff, the battles and everything. "Alles passt" as I'd say in german just like: everyting is well balanced. It's a fast paced story and I can't hold myself while I have to do other annoying things like eating, working or even spend time with family! I want more of it, better yesterday than now.
I'm not sure, if I'd judge the same, if I'd read the german translation (there is none, afaik) though. Perhaps I would instead hate it. Because sometimes translations miss THE point of a story. I've always heard about it. We'll see. Once there's a german version available I'll give it a try as well.
In the meantime I'm swallowing up this book. I'm not finished yet and started right on chapter 21. Some chapters earlier one of the main characters on board of a space vessel (this is a good example: I absolutely know for sure, what a "space vessel" is, but I am unable to tell it in german) died. I was very angry about this. What a waste! And now entering chapter 21 what do I read? He's alive! Yippieyahiyeh! Was I happy, I can't tell. My wife watched me sitting there with such a big grin on my face and asked me what the bloody hell happend. And I told her: "He's alive! Thanks God!", for which she shook her head not understanding how I could react like this just of a book.
So this is how it feels (for me at least) to read this book. Cool, isn't it?
For the story itself, that's quickly told: an alien race attacks mankind just for the fun of it (for the honor of the aliens ruler, that is). Just a space opera with all the incredients you love about space operas: space ship battles, man-to-man combat (man to women, because the alien warriors are female only, in fact), action, emotions, heros and horror. A fun read.
Oh - and yes there's something to criticize as well, but only one thing and it doesn't really matter for the story: Hicks is also using the hyperspace thing many autors are using. Hyperspace being some space "beneath" normal spacetime you can jump in, fly a little time in there and jump out lots of lightyears away. Of course that's pure nonsense (in my opinion). But I can live with this obstacle, esepecially since it's only this one and it doesn't hurt.
And take it for granted, I'll read all the other books of the series as well.
One last thing: why did I post it in english? I think just to show respect and honor (something I learned from the book, LOL) to the author. He wrote it in english, I read it in english, then why bothering anyone with a german review?