Friday, June 3, 2016

James Review -- Cobra Rebellion: Cobra Outlaw

This week I decided to review Cobra Rebellion: Cobra Outlaw by Timothy Zahn.

The book focuses on several members of the Broom and Moreau family, most of whom are Cobras, or cybernetically enhanced super-soldiers. The family’s leader, Paul, is being held on Aventine by the Dominion of Man who are preparing to mind-sift him in hopes of discovering the secret location of Qasama, the birthplace of Cobra technology. The Dominion has arranged a riot to seize control of the planet and forced most of the world’s Cobras to wear explosive collars but some of the Broom clan have escaped and carry on a war of harassment, seeking to avoid bloodshed while they hunt for a way to liberate their fellow Cobras.

Meanwhile, Jody Broom has escaped and is travelling to Qasama to become a Cobra herself, seizing a Dominion scout ship in the process. But Barrington Moreau, a distant relative of the Cobra clan which provides most of the book’s viewpoint characters, and captain of the Dominion cruiser Dorian is racing to meet a friendly member of the alien Troft who can tell him where Qasama is.

However, after battling a hostile Troft faction en route, Barrington is left little choice but to ask Qasama to treat his wounded, even though he knows the Dominion plans to lure the Troft into launching a full-scale assault on the world in order to weaken the Troft forces near the Dominion homeland. And once Jody’s conversion to a Cobra is complete, she begins plotting to flee the world with her captured vessel, seeking to discover the fate of her brother Merrick.

And, on the Troft world of Muninn, Merrick, captured and enslaved by the Troft, has managed to escape along with another slave, Anya Winghunter, whose parents had been part of a failed rebellion against the Troft over a decade earlier. Merrick is hoping to discover the purpose of a mysterious facility on the world while bringing Anya to her childhood home, and the pair eventually ally with a Troft master named Kjoic, but the planet has many predators, dangerous even to a Cobra. Merrick doesn’t dare reveal what he is, and Kjoic has his own secrets.

I give the book 8.5 out of 10. The combat sequences are brilliant but few, and for the most part the author does a great job weaving the plot threads together. However, there are some plot twists that come out of nowhere, the book needed a few more battles, and a few parts of the book seem like nothing but padding. And I hate it when the back cover of a book lies about what happens in the story, and the back cover of this book couldn’t even get the name of one of the primary characters right.

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