Children No More

Mark L. Van Name, Author
Mark L. Van Name, Baen, $22.00 (393p) ISBN 9781439133651
Reviewed on: 09/13/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Mass Market Paperbound - 506 pages - 978-1-4391-3453-5
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The fourth installment of Van Name's SF series featuring nano-enhanced mercenary Jon Moore and sentient assault vehicle Lobo is deeper and more thought-provoking than its predecessors. When a friend asks Jon and Lobo to help her in a mission to free abducted children that are being forcibly turned into soldiers, the heroic duo agrees – but the seemingly straightforward mission gets complicated quickly. Jon is reunited with an old love interest, and the planetary government makes some unethical resolutions. Seeing the psychological aftermath of the abused kids brings Jon back to his own childhood and the horror he endured. While the Jon and Lobo series is still powered by breakneck pacing and military-nuanced action and adventure, this latest volume marks a clear evolution; Van Name's focus on character development, backstory, and the reintegration of some past characters makes for a much more cerebral – and enriching – read. (Aug.)
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