This is a very recent release, comparatively speaking to the rest of my TBR books, but in all honesty it has been something I have wanted to read since it was first announced some years ago. Indeed, since Geonn — full disclosure: I know him! — first mooted the possibility of this book on his social media, I was always going to read it. And not just because I know him. In fact, this book immediately landed on my Must Read list because not only did I really enjoy his previous SG-1 novel, Two Roads, but this book was going to be an adventure centered on Vala and Sam, and I love those women.
The story takes place during late-Season 10 of SG-1, when Vala’s quick-grown daughter Adria is ravaging two galaxies at the head of the malevolent religious organization (redundant?), the Priors of the Ori. However, it is not those diabolical false god-peddlers with whom the team must deal here, but with breaking into an unfindable, inescapable prison to free Vala’s old cohort, smuggler and thief Tanis (as seen in the sixth season SG-1 episode “Forsaken”). Along the way, maybe they’ll be able to dig up some dirt on the Lucian Alliance, the loose federation of criminals who have taken over the galaxy in the wake of SG-1 defeating pretty much all the Goa’uld, and who make up a decent-sized chunk of Stargate Universe‘s plot.
Yeah, you kind of need to know a lot about the various Stargate iterations before going into this one. But that is true of almost every media tie-in novel–particularly so, if the book is a good one.
And this is a good one indeed. It is funny, it captures several of characters perfectly — Colonel Mitchell, Vala and Teal’c in particular — and it has a fast-paced and intricate action-y plot that could easily have been a real episode. (Probably a two-parter.) The other thing I really loved about this book is how SG-1’s fame is shown to have spread throughout the denizens of the galaxy. Their names are constantly being recognized, their deeds constantly being hailed as either heroic or demonic, and that is exactly how it should be.
My few quibbles with the book mainly lie in the characterization of my beloved Daniel — but he is difficult to capture, and I am rarely satisfied with his portrayal in these books — and with the way in which members of the team are constantly Leslie Knope-ing each other, delivering these long periods about how excellent the others are to their faces, which feels kind of out of place. But the thing about this licensed fan fiction is that it is wish-fulfillment at its finest, giving fans (and Geonn is a big SG-1 fan) a chance to rectify what they felt were the deficiencies of the series, as well as celebrate all that was great about it. And clearly, Geonn felt the team were not sufficiently complimentary to each other throughout the show. So he made that happen.
Despite these minor, minor concerns, I know this is a book I will read again and again, much as I rewatch my favorite episodes of SG-1 over and over. And there is no higher compliment I can give to a media tie-in novel than that.
TBR DAY 3: Stargate SG-1: Female of the Species by Geonn Cannon.
GENRE: Science Fiction/Media Tie-in
TIME ON THE TBR: 3 weeks — but really two years.
PURCHASED FROM: Amazon.
* Incidentally, today I also read Peril at End House by Agatha Christie, the next Poirot book following Black Coffee. Holy shit, that book is amazing! I thought I had previously read all the Poirot books, but I clearly missed that one, because no way would I have forgotten its details. Such panache! Such a cleverly told, thoroughly unpredictable plot. From the winsome Nick, whose life is in peril, to the sundry suspects who never quite entirely trustworthy, to the little Belgian’s incredibly clever deductions, it is definitely among the best of the Poirot mysteries. Possibly one of the best mysteries I have ever read.