March Upcountry Week 1 Discussion



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  1. #1
    Puck
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    Default March Upcountry Week 1 Discussion

    I thought this was a great start. Light read but a lot of fun. It started off pretty light hearted, imo, but the universe clearly has some darker aspects. I want to know more about what happened with the father! The universe seems very interesting too. I'd love to know more details of what else is out there.

    The prince himself is pretty interesting. He definitely varies between likable and you can almost understand where he's coming from to being able to understand why everyone views him the way they do. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what happens when they finally do end up planetside
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  3. #2
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: March Upcountry Week 1 Discussion


    Codefox: You'll have to read all four books to find out everything about his father, though they do reveal bits of it along the way. I definitely think you'll enjoy learning about the various religions in the universe, and about the Saints in particular.

    I had a few observations/thoughts that I wanted to bounce around:

    1) Any idea where they came up with the term "toot"? Is it some warping of "computer" maybe? I feel as though everything else is an organic progression from our current society, so I want to be able to see where the term came from, and somehow I can't. Is it just me?

    2) On page 29 as the bodyguards are sitting with Roger and he's trying to figure out what's going on, he goes through this whole analysis of what could have happened, if it was a coup, and why it probably wasn't. Up until now, while he hasn't seemed stupid, he also hasn't seemed politically astute enough to come up with this line of thinking. Did it seem out of character to you?

    3) On page 73, when Roger gets all bent out of shape about carrying his own gear, all I could think was, "Well, what the heck did he do when he was at the Academy?" They said on page 14 he spent four years at the Academy. I know that the British royals who go into the armed forces train alongside everyone else. I can't imagine that he didn't do at least vaguely "normal" training if he spent four years there. Again, it just seemed out of character.

    I know I'm sort of nit-picky....it's one of the things that always made me a great software tester, or the person who could find a hole in a proof, but it makes it so that those are the kinds of things that I notice when reading a story.

  4. #3
    Thing 1 Klaatu's Avatar
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    Default Re: March Upcountry Week 1 Discussion

    I agree with you Kat. I saw the same inconsistencies in Roger's character. An odd combination of maturity and immaturity. Possibly a result of the novel being a collaboration?

    I've found the novel to actually be kind of slow. It's a fun read but I'm having a little bit of a hard time keeping interest.

    Regards,
    Michael
    'Not all who wander are lost.'
    ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

    CURRENTLY READING: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

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  6. #4
    Tiny Tim
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    Default Re: March Upcountry Week 1 Discussion

    I though the frequent displays of immaturity by Roger are a result of being the youngest of the royal family, raised with a life of privilege but not having any actually responsibility. Once the disaster happens on the ship he is forced to take things more seriously and so we start to see him act more mature on occasion. I was disappointed when Roger insisted that others carry his extra cloths and misc once on the planet, big step back into his way of thinking from his easy life growing up. I expect that he'll show more intelligence and leadership ability as the book progresses and fall back into his old spoiled ways less often.
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  7. #5
    Puck
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    Default Re: March Upcountry Week 1 Discussion

    I mean...we're just meeting the character so its hard for me to think anything is out of character. He was consistently hard to judge
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  8. #6
    Thing 1 Klaatu's Avatar
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    Default Re: March Upcountry Week 1 Discussion

    As a "coming of age" story I'm not seeing much "coming of age" points. For me the novel is so far lacking in focus. I know one of the things that is going to happen is Roger is going to mature on the journey but there is an awful lot of focus on the Marines and the minutiae of a military operation. I know we need to know a lot of this information but where's the focus on Roger?

    Regards,
    Michael
    'Not all who wander are lost.'
    ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

    CURRENTLY READING: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

  9. #7
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: March Upcountry Week 1 Discussion

    Oh, Michael, I don't know if you're going to enjoy this book very much. Have you ever read any of Weber's Honor Harrington books? This one gets into a lot of military minutiae and battle details (though they're easier to follow than his space battles, I think). While some of the book focuses on Roger, I think it helps to understand the unit as a whole to see how Roger fits in with them, and how his role changes over time. I also think both Weber and Ringo really get into all of the details, so they put them in because they like them.

    POTENTIAL VERY MINOR SPOILER ABOUT GENERAL PLOT:

    While I find descriptions of battles tedious, I do find it interesting as they develop different strategies based on changing terrain, weapons and local politics, which for me made it worth slogging through.

  10. #8
    Thing 1 Klaatu's Avatar
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    Default Re: March Upcountry Week 1 Discussion

    Perhaps I was expecting something out of the novel that it is not. When I started it and we got our first look at Roger I expected a "coming of age" story, as I mentioned above. I also expected lots of good military minutiae, since I know that is Weber's and Ringo's forte (at least one of them was in the military, I think). So that was not unexpected; I actually enjoy good military Sci Fi so on that point I'm enjoying the novel.

    So perhaps all this is why the novel seems to lack focus. It seems it can't decide if it wants to be a straightforward "Marduk as Vietnam" military SF novel or if it wants to be a "train the prince for ruling through experience" novel.

    One thing I did notice early on is there is a lot of influence from Robert Heinlein which is never a bad thing. :-)

    Regards,
    Michael
    'Not all who wander are lost.'
    ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

    CURRENTLY READING: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

  11. #9
    Tiny Tim
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    Default Re: March Upcountry Week 1 Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Klaatu
    Perhaps I was expecting something out of the novel that it is not. When I started it and we got our first look at Roger I expected a "coming of age" story, as I mentioned above. I also expected lots of good military minutiae, since I know that is Weber's and Ringo's forte (at least one of them was in the military, I think). So that was not unexpected; I actually enjoy good military Sci Fi so on that point I'm enjoying the novel.

    So perhaps all this is why the novel seems to lack focus. It seems it can't decide if it wants to be a straightforward "Marduk as Vietnam" military SF novel or if it wants to be a "train the prince for ruling through experience" novel.

    One thing I did notice early on is there is a lot of influence from Robert Heinlein which is never a bad thing. :-)

    Regards,
    Michael
    Remember this is the first of four books, with the entire saga being a "coming of age" story. The military minutiae is necessary to set the story and introduce characters for following events. Weber is a msater at character development, and as I tell my son, reading David Weber is like crack, you can never read just a little.

  12. #10
    Puck
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    Default Re: March Upcountry Week 1 Discussion

    Yeah, I didn't know how long the series was but to me the pacing was fine. We've read only a small part and I like all the military details.
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