Rolling Thunder

Rolling Thunder

Varley, John

Book 3.0 of Thunder and Lightning

language: English

Publisher: Ace

Publishing date: Jan 1, 2008

Words: 128212
Pages: 496


Lieutenant Patricia Kelly Elizabeth Strickland-otherwise known as Podkayne-is a third-generation Martian. Her grandfather, Manny, was one of the first men to set foot on Mars. So Poddy has some planet-sized shoes to fill. That's why she's joined the Music, Arts, and Drama Division of the Martian Navy. Though some may say her voice is a weapon in itself, Poddy passed the audition. And now she's going to Europa, one of Jupiter's many moons, to be an entertainer. But she's about to learn that there's plenty of danger to go around in the Martian Navy, even if you've just signed on to sing. From Publishers Weekly Nebula and Hugo–winner Varley continues the space opera saga of the Garcia-Strickland clan (last encountered in 2006's *Red Lightning*) in this enjoyable if simplistic tale. Patricia Kelly Elizabeth Podkayne Strickland-Garcia-Redmond, daughter of an earlier series hero, Ray Garcia-Strickland, is glad for any excuse to escape her job as the Martian consul in California, but the news calling her home is dire: her great grandmother is ill and about to go into suspended animation. After a family reunion, Podkayne heads to Europa, where a disaster forces her own suspension. The solar system she awakens to 10 years later is radically different. Podkayne learns of looming trials threatening the survival of mankind and tackles them with undiminished determination. Varley has deliberately made Podkayne an uncomplicated figure who lets major events and traumas roll right off her, rendering her a less than satisfying protagonist despite her heroics. *(Mar.)* Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Booklist Varley concludes the solar system exploration trilogy of Red Thunder (2004) and Red Lightning (2006) with a zany Heinlein homage, whose immediate tip-off for the fans comes with the disclosure that the protagonist prefers to be called by one of her middle names, Podkayne (see Heinlein’s Podkayne of Mars, 1963). Assigned to the cultural affairs wing of the Martian Navy, she is sent to the Jovian satellite Europa, nominally as an entertainer. She is shortly hip deep in intelligence work, for which she has hardly any training, but also for which she could end up paying with her life. Meanwhile, she becomes the erotic mentor of young Juba, a role for which she has more qualifications and more interest. Readers who have by this time stopped giggling won’t stop reading until they reach the end, where they may launch a peroration largely composed of the titles of the classic Heinlein juveniles, on which at least two generations of readers cut their sf teeth. Not for the humor-impaired, definitely for Varley fandom. --Roland Green