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Author Topic: Flight of the Falcon  (Read 181 times)

FaithBomb

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Flight of the Falcon
« on: 21 February 2021, 01:11:04 »
So, because I'm a masochist, I've been reading the MWDA books from the start for the last week or so. I'm now up to #10, Flight of the Falcon by Victor Milan.

I know that a lot of other MWDA books get flak, and rightfully so, but I never hear people complain about Flight of the Falcon, in spite of the fact that it might have the most problem of any of the first 10 that I've gotten to yet.

Now, it's been a while since I read Milan's earlier novels with Super-Cassie in them, but I don't ever refer to them being so...problematic. I don't want to use the term 'sexist' or 'misogynistic', because I don't think it rises to that level. It is full of gender-related problems, however.

First: Milan seems absolutely obsessed with the comparative attractiveness of the two Tara's (Campbell and Bishop). The number of times he writes something along the lines of "Tara Bishop was so hot, she would be the hottest girl in the room if Tara Campbell wasn't there!" is...excessive. Once, ok, it's not a big deal. Maybe twice I could forgive. But it happens a lot, for virtually no reason. Any time the two Tara's meet a new character, the topic of their attractiveness comes up. This is made all the weirder by the fact that it basically always happens when the POV is Tara Campbell. I mean what is he getting at? That all women somehow stand around comparing themselves to their best friend all the time? Because that's the misconception he seems to be going off of.

On top of that, he randomly has a page of dialogue where Tara Campbell changes her hair (Yes, I'm even giving him bonus points for that), dresses up in a little black dress, and gets hit on by a drunk historian in a bar. And then another character comes along, she leaves, and that's it. There is literally no point to the scene. At first I thought maybe the scene was going to be some kind of homage to Henry V and she was going to try to get a feel for her troop's morale by disguising herself, but nope, it literally was just to put her in a little black dress and heels and get hit on by a drunk.

Second: The book is filled with explanations of why the female characters are always getting naked or close. Sure, MechWarrior attire bears some explaining. Once. But any time either Tara is anywhere near a cockpit, we get an explanation of their attire, a reason for their attire, and an explanation of why the guys around either care or don't care. (The situation varies, sometimes the boys don't care, other times they're tripping over themselves)

Third: Speaking of nudity, let's talk about Malvina Hazen. She might actually be naked more than she's clothed in this book. First, we get a really odd description of her body in the aftermath of coupling with Aleks. I won't quote it directly here, since I'm not sure if it would pass muster as it relates to forum rules, but suffice it to say she is described as "pointy". ??????

Then next, she get's naked in front of all of her troops and goes all Lady Bathory, literally cutting herself and dripping blood all over her body while the Gyrfalcon Galaxy cheers. Umm...ok, I get that he's setting her up as a sociopath and bloodthirsty, but this scene is just....odd. Then later, the Falcons are attacking a world, Malvina wins, and her forces go on and start rampaging around, razing the town, murdering, in other words, going full Mongol on them. So what does Malvina do? She climbs out of her mech, gets totally naked and wanders through the rubble until her troops get tired of looting, then gathers them all together for ANOTHER naked morale building session in the middle of the rubble. Um....WHAT?

By way of disclaimers:

1) Don't get me wrong, I'm all for sex and nudity in my entertainment. I do, however, prefer when it A) makes actual sense and B) doesn't just sound like the author writing it just to satisfy their own kicks.

2) No, I'm not anti-female nudity. I'm a lesbian, and I assure you I am very much pro-female nudity. HOWEVER, when it just feels like the author fixating on it, I start to question.

Taking off my feminist hat for a few minutes, this novel still suffers from the flaws of most early Dark Age novels. Units are predominantly vehicles, infantry and a handful of 'Mechs mixed with IndustrialMechs. 'Mechs still overheat at the drop of a hat, but are SLIGHTLY better than earlier novels. They actually get to fire some weapons without overheating immediately.

Celtic fetishism continues. Although give him credit, Milan slips some Irish influence in there to mix with the Scottish. He feels the need to mention the song Garryowen about as often as the name "Tara" is used.

Now, the story itself is pretty good and well written. The novel is paced well. But overall, the flaws really drag it down.
Some people say I'm a marshmallow...

GuyIncognito

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Re: Flight of the Falcon
« Reply #1 on: 22 February 2021, 20:27:39 »
I wasn't a huge fan of how overwrought every POV sequence from the Knave of Hearts was.

Or how Aleks forgot to pack his brains for the last fight.

FaithBomb

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Re: Flight of the Falcon
« Reply #2 on: 22 February 2021, 23:40:55 »
I wasn't a huge fan of how overwrought every POV sequence from the Knave of Hearts was.



I just didn't like the Knave of Hearts PERIOD. Making him the great-grandson of Super Cassie was bad enough. Then the name, "Knave of Hearts" was just a little too close to the Dancing Joker for me. And I've NEVER liked the Rambo characters like Super Cassie who can singlehandedly do anything ever with ease and make things look like I'm watching some nightmarish playthrough of MechAssault.



Or how Aleks forgot to pack his brains for the last fight.

That too. Fighting his sister....sneaky as can be. He's one of the best MechWarriors in all of Clan Jade Falcon. "Oh hey, there's a Hatchetman! YOLO!"
Some people say I'm a marshmallow...

 

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