To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
"We marry for power, we breed for posterity, we love… only rarely."
Baby is gone. Blaise is fleeing the Rox for his grandfather's home world Takis, along with Kelly who is still trapped in Tachyon's body. Tachyon meanwhile remains trapped in the young girl's body pregnant with his own great-granddaughter…
The is the first standalone novel in the Wild Cards series. It stands alone in the sense it is not part of the larger Rox triad. However, you must still read the two preceding volumes in order to understand what is happening.
At first glance, there is a lot to enjoy in this 10th Wild Card entry. Jube and Fortunato make surprise cameo appearances in the early chapters. Zabb and the Network return to play a significant role in the plot. Captain Trips is along for the ride with his full complement of alter-personalities in tow.
Most of the action takes place amid the beautiful cities and opulent courtyards of Takis, which has never been depicted in the novels. (Up until now, readers only had a quick glimpse in a few panels in the comics.) The intricate machinations of Takisian society--inspired in part by Nazi obsession with racial purity--is front and center in the battle for control of House Ilkazam.
Blaise starts a cultural revolution by appealing to the masses to turn against the ruling Houses. He overturns the bans on mixed marriages between telepaths and the mind-blind commoners. This leads to outright atomic civil war that soon engulfs the planet.
Tachyon (full name: Tisienne brant Ts'ara sek Halima sek Ragnar sek Omian) must balance his desires to take back his House, save his unborn daughter, and reclaim his rightful male body.
It should be an exciting narrative with lots of callbacks to earlier characters and situations in the Wild Cards universe. Unfortunately, the book is also severely marred by erratic pacing, too many abrupt point of view shifts, and too many subplots.
For every amusing or effective scene that really works for me--Popinjay trying to seduce an alien but completely misunderstanding how her biology works; or Durg's sacrificial death to save Moonchild--there is an overblown space battle, an unnecessary storming of a castle, or yet another torture scene at the hands of Blaise.
One aspect of this novel in particular distracted me almost to the point of ruining the whole experience. After Tachyon and Kelly were "jumped" into each other's bodies in Jokertown Shuffle, the omniscient narrator switched their pronouns. Tachyon became a "she" and Kelly a "he" even though they still thought of themselves as their original gender. The long-time womanizing Tachyon instantly became attracted to men. Mark Meadows began calling him "sugar". Turtle tried to sleep with him. It was as if the narrator wanted to hammer home the idea that gender and sexual orientation are driven solely by biology. If a man's consciousness is transferred into a straight female body, it instantly becomes a woman, end of story. The consciousness is not influenced by past experiences, environment, or learned gender roles. This seemed an odd way to approach the story, and it was jarring whenever the pronouns did not match the self-identification of the point-of-view character.
Another aspect of the story that did not feel authentic is Tachyon having an affair with his cousin Zabb, who was his mortal enemy when they were both male, but now the two seem irresistibly attracted to each other.
I am now wondering if Tachyon's decision in the final chapter to stay behind on Takis and assume his father's rule signifies the end of his arc in the Wild Cards universe.
Double Solitaire (Wild Cards, #10) by George R.R. Martin (editor) Double Solitaire, By Melinda Snodgrass, wow! The drama of Takis, but things work out only in the last pages… but as usual leave you with questions. Double solitaire is a great story. The Jumpers have taken the body and powers of many different Aces, and Jokers, leaving a plague of victims. Dr. Tachyon is not only the most recent victim. His torture only begins with being jumped. Blaise has decided on a dramatic path for Tachyon, one that provides not only problems on earth, but Problems on Takis with a capital P. This is a great story that will haunt the series.