a few thoughts on Tranquility Wars

Poking through my unread books, I ran across Gentry Lee's Tranquility Wars. After starting it, I definitely read some amount of it before (at least 30-40 pages), but I'm not sure how much, beyond that (I think I might have read up to the point where they were captured by pirates).

I'm still in the middle of it (around page 350), but wanted to put some thoughts about it down.

Hunter seems to have better luck with women than anyone I've ever known. Especially considering how little effort he puts into it.

Tehani is an interesting character, but I know that if I were Hunter, she would have been driving me nuts. In their conversations while captured by pirates, what she said was very mature and correct, but with no emotion at all. Given that she kept repeating that she loved Hunter, that felt very off-putting to me. Seriously, at that age, it probably would have made me about ready to kill her. (I was very emotionally immature at that age, though, I should admit.) One thing about her history bothers me very much, though; she ended up as a high-class call-girl because of debts her father ran up. What I can't figure out, though, is how her father would have been allowed to run up debts so far even beyond what his life insurance would be able to cover.

It's just a very bad way to run a gambling establishment; you can't let your best customers run themselves that far into the hole. Once they can't pay, you have to force them to earn some money somewhere else before they can come back. It's the moral equivalent of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Most gambling places can't address that issue, but this was government-sponsored gambling; they most certainly had access to his finances.

In any event, it seems clear to me that she is the mistress for Chairman Covington, and has been for about a year (when she stopped having trouble with customers with whom she was forced to reject for being asses). And so, he was willing to pay a substantial ransom to get her back.

The pirate society is kind of interesting, although there are a couple of things about the group with whom Hunter is living that bug me. So, we know that there are about 500 of them, including women and children. We also know that there are about 50% more men than women. We also know that, five years ago, there were exactly 43 men and 2 women in a couple of spaceships with nowhere to go. They were ready to hand themselves over to authorities to keep from dying out. And then they ran into a spaceship with ten women (one of whom was from a wealthy family). And somehow, from this, they were miraculously saved.

We know that they are currently living on an asteroid, but we don't know how they got from those couple of lost ships to the asteroid. There must have been a connection with the ship with the women on board, but the connection was never made (or even implied). The asteroid, btw, had been uninhabited for over a century, so it wasn't a case of the rich woman owning the asteroid (nor did it seem likely that she was THAT wealthy, anyway).

Moving on, where I am, Tehani seems to have been ransomed back, and Hunter has remained with the pirates, running their medical clinic. He's met some very interesting people, and, as I implied earlier, has quite a varied sex life (especially impressive, I should point out, because of the gender ratio mentioned earlier).

He's convinced to help out on a daring raid by several pirate groups working together. One of the groups is headed by a smart, but apparently brutal guy, who tried really hard to get his hands on Tehani.

It seems clear to me that all hell is about to break loose after this raid is over, a fight is going to break out with that pirate chief for one of two reasons. Either he never did get his hands on Tehani, and is going to take it out on that group, or Tehani and Hunter were both lied to, and Rango did get her. And Hunter will find out.

Anyway, despite the fairly large holes I mentioned, the book is quite interesting, and I'm anxious to see how it goes.

Update: It occurred to me while I was writing about Tehani, above (although I forgot it before I wrote it down), that perhaps Hunter got the prized Covington Fellowship because of Tehani's intervention.

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