Coyote Rising by Steele, Allen, 2004

Coyote Rising by Steele, Allen - Book cover from Amazon.co.uk

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Picking up where he left off with Coyote, Steele's second book in the series called Coyote Rising took the rudimentary political discourse of the first novel as its major theme, and failed utterly to say anything meaningful at all.

After surviving four rough years on Coyote a second ship from an impoverished Earth arrived with an additional 1,000 colonists. Though only four years had passed since landing on Coyote, the WHSS Glorious Destiny had departed Earth 186 years after the Alabama, in the year 2256. Conditions on Earth had substantially deteriorated since the theft of the Alabama. These colonists were desperate to escape the overpopulated, resource depleted and dying planet they left behind, as well as the totalitarian communist government that ruled over them with an iron fist. When the Glorious Destiny arrived at Coyote and made it clear that they intended to reassert military control over the colonists, the settlers from the Alabama evacuated into the bush before they could be captured. Followed by four more identical colony ships the new arrivals land and promptly build a slum.

What follows is a guerilla war, complete with assassinations and the bombing of critical infrastructure, and quite frankly the good guys (who by the way have hearts of gold and wills of iron) cannot lose to the communist pigs (who are clearly evil in a Ming the Merciless kind of way). Steele also threw a few unrelated side stories into this book. One, the story of a crazy religious leader, pales in comparison to Leslie Gillisís story from the first book, while the other, the story of a lovely musician who has lost her muse, may just exceed it.

While a failure in just about all respects, Steele did manage to advance the one of his main characters pretty well. In Coyote Carlos Montoya is a teenager, and was itching to sew his oats. To prove his manhood Carlos took off on an unauthorized exploration of the island/continent that the Alabama crew settled, called New Florida. He eventually returned with some valuable logistical information, some even more important survival skills, and a new approach to killing boids, the predatory avian species that was all over New Florida. In Coyote Rising Montoya is morphed into the freedom fighter called Rigel Kent (why the name change, Steel never bothers to tell us). He has matured very well and consciously makes the decision to be ruthless even though he acknowledges that should he survive he will be changed by his experiences, and he will forever be a wanted man.

Other than that there is nothing else here, save for overblown sentimentality, poor plot structure and even poorer characterization. That and one of the stupidest religions that I have ever read. Best advice is to avoid this one. Two out of five stars.

Copyright © 2008, Gregory Tidwell

Reviewed by GTT · Rating Rating of 2 star(s)

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