Блекколар by Timothy Zahn PDF, TXT, ePub, PDB, RTF, FB2.
|Review||The Blackcollar series seems to predate Zahn's Cobra series by a few years, but reading this book feels like reading Cobra-lite; the protagonist Blackcollars are like Cobras only less well equipped and less believable as the supermen they appear to be. As in most of Zahn's books, the heroes are able to handle whatever impossible odds are sent their way, and are not usually in physical danger despite the fact that they should be. Again, as is usual, people have secret motives for doing things that are all revealed at the end of the book, but there are several things in the book that are never really explained. Why does having twice the normal reflex speed and special martial arts training turn Blackcollars into near-invincible killing machines? Why do they never appear to have any qualms or regrets about killing huge numbers of human guards who are part of the alien oppression? The Cobra series, though flawed in some ways, was a more varied and interesting look at French-Resistance-style fighters in a Sci-Fi world.|
This was Zahn's first novel, but it doesn't read like it. The elements of his mature writing are already present, including a strong leader with a brilliant tactical mind. It sits somewhere between the _Cobra_ books and the Thrawn Star Wars books, though I think it really does the super-soldier idea much better than _Cobra_ does. The latter is really all about the difficulties of integrating the super-soldiers back into society and other such issues; this book is about them as soldiers. I find the Blackcollars more compelling on pretty much every level than the Cobras.
The book opens quickly, establishing a strong sense of the world and of our initial main character (who will be de-centralized after a few chapters) with just a few pages. That it manages to do this without feeling rushed or clipped is perhaps the greatest sign of the promise Zahn showed even at this early stage. From the moment you hit the ground, it is an enjoyable read.
The audience for this book is a little more circumscribed than, say, for the Quadrail books. It's a book about a resistance movement, and it focuses on the soldiers. One has to be at least somewhat interested in the tactics and planning. That said, one needn't be a hardcore military enthusiast: it could be read pretty thoroughly on a primarily psychological level with a great deal of interest and success as well.
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