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Book um sort-of Review? Musketeer Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Friday, January 13, 2017 - 06:00

So, I don't DNF (did not finish) books very often. If a book gets my attention enough to move up the list to having me start it, I generally want to give it the chance to show me what it's got. But I read one treadmill-session worth of Musketeer Space and then closed it and chose a new book. And I'd like to explain why, even if just to myself.

This is a good book. A very imaginative, well-crafted, well-written story. It takes The Three Musketeers, gender-flips it, adds some delicious diversity to the cast, then gives it a space opera setting where the Musketeers fly cyber-implant guided ships from their base at Paris Space Station. It's clever and funny and even manages to provide sympathetic and believable underpinnings to D'Artagnan's initial belligerent jackassishness.

But I didn't finish it--indeed, I barely started it. And the reason, as best I can explain, is that it doesn't feel like an interpretation of 3 Musketeers, but rather like a translation. I got a strong impression that I got all the essentials of the creative innovation in the first few chapters, but the story itself was going to run in precise parallel with the original. Which I have read. And don't feel like re-reading at this time.

I may be wrong--I could easily be wrong, given that I only scratched the beginning. And other than the story not being different enough from one I'd already read, there's nothing actually wrong with this book. It's a very well-written book. And if you're the sort of reader for whom the idea of diverse gender-flipped space musketeers is catnip--and especially if you've never actually read the story in the original (or if you think that wouldn't be a problem for you) then by all means let me know how much you enjoyed it!

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