Another month, another look back at how my last month of reading went. April was a pretty busy month for me personally as I made trips to Denver and Los Angeles to see family for various reasons, but thanks to a couple of plane rides, I still managed to stay on pace towards my 100 books read in the year goal. This month I had a book to read provided by a publisher, the chance to finally finish one of my incomplete series, a couple of unknown authors, and a couple novels by a favorite.
Somewhat surprisingly, Fortune’s Pawn was probably my favorite book of the month. I love all of the books in The Seafort Saga, but Fortune’s Pawn was an awful fun time while I was reading it. I think I really had been starved for some light-hearted sci-fi action and didn’t really know it. The same could be said for Crimes Against Magic, it was good fun, exciting characters, and off the beaten path for me personally. Looking back on the month, I have to say none of the books were disappointing, which isn’t always the case. Usually I have one or maybe two that really didn’t do it for me, but not this time.
I was really happy that I managed to finish the final books of The Seafort Saga after so long of trying to get that series completed. Those books might not be for everyone, but I really liked them a lot, and now I can say I’ve read them, and that I’ve finished off one of the bigger uncompleted series on my list. It’s all smooth sailing from here now, right?
One of my many goals this year as I do my reading is to expose myself to a lot more of Timothy Zahn’s non-Star Wars writing. He is most well-known for his Thrawn Trilogy, but he has a lot of other stellar work to offer. A Coming of Age isn’t the first non-Star Wars book of his I’ve read, and hopefully it won’t be the last.
A Coming of Age takes place on a post-Earth world known as Tigris where the environment gives small children a very powerful form of telekinesis at the age of five that grows stronger up until puberty when it then vanishes. As a result, society has put a lot of strict controls on what children can know and do up until puberty in order to prevent a rebellion like happened when Tigris was first settled. Lisa Duncan is one of those children, and while she is not a threat to start a rebellion, she has a natural curiosity that is bound to get her into a little mischief. Stanley Tirrell is a local law enforcement detective who winds up working a kidnapping case that he quickly discovers is so much more than a simple kidnapping.
What I like most about A Coming of Age is that it’s a crime caper. The book is filled with scenes of finding evidence, extrapolating what the evidence means, and then following up on the various leads. On the side is Lisa getting involved with the case inadvertently, and thinking she has discovered something terrible happening to a friend. As it turns out her friend is fine, but some of the things she’s witnessed in her own amateur investigation helps Tirrell get to the root of what’s happening with his kidnapping case. The kidnapper turns out to be using the young boy he took for the good of society, but in discovering that, Tirrell discovers a different operation that poses great danger to everyone. This, of course, turns the entire story on its head in the final act.
There is a lot to like about A Coming of Age as a story on the whole, but it still is not as strong as some of the other Zahn books I’ve read. However, I did look up when it was published and it first hit the shelves in 1984, the year I was born. I have a feeling that this story might have had a lot more impact back then than it does today.
I’ve been a huge fan of Timothy Zahn since I read his superb Thrawn Trilogy and wound up hooked on the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The thing is, Zahn has a plethora of work he’s done over the years not related to Star Wars at all. My favorite book of all time is one of his standalone novels, Icarus Hunt, and I’m a very big fan of his Frank Compton series as well. I’ve always known he had many other books to offer but finding them in a format that worked with my Kindle was always difficult. Not so anymore!
Open Road Media contacted me recently and asked if I’d be willing to pass along the great news that several of Zahn’s other works have finally been released in ebook format. I am very excited to oblige and help them get the word out about these books now available in electronic format. To go along with this great news, Open Road Media prepared a short film/documentary about the author himself:
Although best known for reviving the Star Wars Expanded Universe with his Thrawn Trilogy novels, Zahn’s excellent original works, including the Blackcollar Series, Spinneret, and A Coming of Age, have been release as ebooks this past week.
“You could say my work is like Star Wars played on a chess board.” –Timothy Zahn
Other novels include: Deadman Switch, The Backlash Mission, Triplet, and Warhorse. For more about these new releases and to see the brand new covers, visit Open Road Media’s dedicated Timothy Zahn page.
A Coming of Age is a tribute to what it means to come of age, face your fears, and even save the world. Reminiscent of other legendary coming of age literature, readers of Dune, A Wrinkle in Time, The Ender’s Game, and The Chronicles of Narnia will be delighted to discover another tale that records the difficult yet crucial passage into adulthood.
The Blackcollar Series is a military science fiction series about a group of superhuman combatants who may be the world’s last chance at survival.
Spinneret poses a scientific puzzle whose answer could threaten humanity’s salvation, or destruction.
As a reader and massive fan of Timothy Zahn I’m incredibly stoked for the chance to add all of these books to my collection at some point. If my past experience holds true, all of them will be great to read and I’ll probably be recommending them to people long into the future. If you haven’t read any of Timothy Zahn’s work before, or if you’ve only had the joy of experiencing his Star Wars work, do yourself a favor and pick one of these up, you won’t regret it in the least.