Author Topic: Exodus Road-a very good novel  (Read 869 times)

DirewolfV.

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Exodus Road-a very good novel
« on: 15 February 2012, 03:35:55 »
Finished it a while ago, and I have to admit it is one of my favorite fiction piecies of all time, not only within the Battletech universe but in general. I think fan fiction (Dragonlance, Battletech, etc) tends to be underratted, even by science fiction fans (which is ironic, since sci-fi itself is underrated within the literary establishment).

The main character was someone you can very much sympathize with. He is honorable, dutiful, basically the very embodiment of the ideal of the Clans (even if you dislike the Clans, you can admit their ideas are great, so somebody who actually lives up to them is very admirable)- what they should be. And you cannot help but hate the Smoke Jaguars who treat him like dirt at every turn, and display their willlful ignorance by betraying all their supposed ideals in placing the female antagonist above him (they never even launch a cursory investigation of what is actually going on) at every turn- even though she wins not by merit, but by dishonest politicking (in this the author foreshadows extremely well why it is the Smoke Jaguars go down).

I also like how he almost always wins his battles, and the way he does it. Whether it is the first fight in the Circle of Equals (where he gets punished, for reasons the author only alludes to, but which is strongly implied to be Jez is sleeping with the instructor- at least that's what I got) or when he destroys the Masakari with his Timber Wolf.

His stand against Paul Moon is also extremely brave. As one would imagine given that a Mechwarrior is facing an Elemental in hand to hand.

The part where the other to be Solahma notes that he is being exiled, because he actually believes in the ideal of the Clans is a compelling moment. A simple phrase, but done so well it is like when Ceasar says "No!" in Rise of the Apes. You forget for a moment how corny and simplistic a statement like that is, and feel compelled because of how it is presented and all that is surrounding it.

And the last part, where he notes that it is he who is not the traitor, but his Clan who betrayed him is also compelling. Overall it does a good job of portraying the Smoke Jaguars in a very unsympathetic light, which I believe was the author's intent (and in reaching that intent, he did very well).

Overall, I have to say Trent is one of the best characters in Battletech. The next two "Twilight of the Clans" novels do not have a character nearly as compelling. I mean at the end you would be willing to promote Star Captain Trent to ilKhan (he would have made a heck of a better one then Lincoln Osiris imo). His relationship with the Comstar spy is built just in the right way, and at the right pace. Overall it seems very plausible. It is able to suspend disbelief, while still retaining the fantastic. This book is a must read, on par with Duneand Robots of Dawn, and Neuromancer imo- and I have read a lot of sci-fi. It actually makes me somewhat hate Focht and Victor for betraying him the way that they do. And you don't even need to be a Battletech fan to like it- heck you don't even need to be a B-Tech fan to undertsand it. When the author talks about the Castle Bryan, he's able to make you fully understand the full significance of what that is with a very short, non-technical description. I only hope Catalyst employs the author to write more books.

It's very much like one of the classic Outer Limits or Twilight Zone monumentals. I will be honest and say some Battletech books are not that good (just like every episode of the two mentioned are super-great) but every now and then you get something like "To Serve Man" or "I, Robot" or "Terror at 20,000 feet". This book is one of those classics in the Battletech series, and it starts the Twilight of the Clans epic in the right way.

In fact, I'd put Star Captain Trent next to Devlin Stone as one of my favorite Battletech characters ever. I like him way more then Natasha Kerensky.
« Last Edit: 15 February 2012, 03:47:32 by Dermezel »
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FedSunsBorn

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Re: Exodus Road-a very good novel
« Reply #1 on: 15 February 2012, 04:34:11 »
I have to agree with you about the novel being very good. I started the novel without any expectations one way or the other but I quickly found out that I was connecting with Trent's character quite early on. This was a good man and excellent warrior who got all of the bad breaks at all of the wrong moments.

My own favorite moment was when Trent filed the trial of grievance over the order to attack a village on Hyner. He still lost and the village got razed but he at least tried to do something about it. Sometimes, all one can do is save yourself and thats what he did by standing up for what he believed in.
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SLDF_Spector

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Re: Exodus Road-a very good novel
« Reply #2 on: 15 February 2012, 04:55:08 »
Funny, I just finished reading Exodus Road a few moments ago.  The thing that stood out about Trent was his sense of honor and what is right or wrong.  Seeing the conflict of following orders or following his honor made it a good read.
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Re: Exodus Road-a very good novel
« Reply #3 on: 18 February 2012, 12:12:13 »
I too liked Trent and his story arc. Pity they never really did anything more with it.
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Re: Exodus Road-a very good novel
« Reply #4 on: 18 February 2012, 22:07:08 »
He might have taken attention away from Victor, Phelan and Kai, and we couldn't have that in a Stackpole novel.


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Re: Exodus Road-a very good novel
« Reply #5 on: 18 February 2012, 23:05:37 »
He might have taken attention away from Victor, Phelan and Kai, and we couldn't have that in a Stackpole novel.

True.
We hear that there are tumults and riots in Rome, and that voices are raised concerning the army and the quality of our soldiers. Make haste to reassure us that you love and support us as we love and support you, for if we find that we have left our bones to bleach in these sands in vain, then beware the fury of the legions.


SLDF_Spector

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Re: Exodus Road-a very good novel
« Reply #6 on: 19 February 2012, 02:03:25 »
I too liked Trent and his story arc. Pity they never really did anything more with it.

I think he should have played atleast a minor role in the second book.  When they introduce the map, it might have been a little more dramatic to have Trent present the info.  As it was, the revelation was a tad anti-climatic.
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