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4.0 out of 5 stars Joan Loves her Characters
How you will feel about Summer Queen will depend on what you're looking for when you pick it up. I disagree with the last reviewer's doorstop comment. I feel that it's a bit unfair. I certainly agree that Snow Queen was a tighter work from an "action" perspective. However, I was never bored with the sequel. The pace just doesn't remain at breakneck throughout, and I...
Published on Nov. 23 2003 by Brian King

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars One word: boring
Snow Queen was magnificent!
Tangle Up in Blue was a solid sequel.
The Summer Queen falls flat.
It is long, slow, dull, uninspired, and seemingly directionless with well-known characters who no longer evoke empathy in the reader. Skip it unless you need a doorstop.
Published on Aug. 15 2003 by Tillman Dickson Jr.


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4.0 out of 5 stars Joan Loves her Characters, Nov. 23 2003
By 
Brian King (Wellington, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
How you will feel about Summer Queen will depend on what you're looking for when you pick it up. I disagree with the last reviewer's doorstop comment. I feel that it's a bit unfair. I certainly agree that Snow Queen was a tighter work from an "action" perspective. However, I was never bored with the sequel. The pace just doesn't remain at breakneck throughout, and I suppose some people are only interested in that kind of pacing. While I was in the middle part, I kept thinking "Ah, the plot thickens." "Ooh, the plot thickens yet again." "Hmm, the plot is becoming molasses!" However, I was very excited for the last few hundred pages.
This book is more solidly about characters and their relationships than the universe in which it's set. People who prefer a "genre fiction" approach like Asimov's Foundation or Tolkien (where the world is the main character) will probably lose interest in Vinge's detailed character development. Science fiction is often disparaged for a lack of character development, so I applaud Vinge for tackling that stereotype. She also ventured into the still-risky topics of homosexuality and transgenderism.
I give Summer Queen a high rating. If you have a low attention span, then perhaps you shouldn't be reading books which are over 900 pages long!
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4.0 out of 5 stars strong galaxy tale, May 16 2003
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The Winter clan's century and a half reign over Tiamat is ended and now its Summer's time to rule with Moon as the leader. Moon, vowing a different economic path through technology, has ended the harvesting of the Mers whose blood was the cash crop sellable commodity, providing off world longevity to clients. The Hegemony also has left the planet.
Moon's former lover, Gundhalinu, attempts to save the Hegemony by trying to gain control over stardrive plasma spilled from a wrecked Old Empire ship. If he succeeds, faster-than-light travel will become available as it once was and Tiamat will no longer suffer periods of isolation. However, the Brotherhood seeks the immortality elixir allegedly found only on Tiamat while Moon clashes with opponents over the fate of the Mers, as these intelligent beings are the source of the elixir. She also must keep safe the ancient computer hidden under the planet's prime city that links the galaxy's clairvoyants. If the Hegemony obtain either the people of Tiamat will face endless winter, but if the Hegemony gain both the people of the galaxy will face eternal winter.
Surprisingly the sequel to THE SNOW QUEEN is a tighter, albeit still very complicated, planetary thriller. The story line is loaded with many concepts though some get shortchanged because of the abundance. The key charcaters are fully developed (critical in this novel) so that the audience appreciates Moon's troubles and her former lover's endeavor. Joan D. Vinge provides readers with a strong galaxy tale that shows why she was nominated for a Hugo for this work (and won with the first story).
Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing characters, unpolished storyline, June 24 2003
By A Customer
Joan Vinge developes characters like none other, by the end of the book you are left with a "leaving camp" feeling...like you just spent a week at camp making new friends and now it's time to go. Sure other books develope one or two, but Joan has nearly a dozen going by the end that are all wonderfully done.
Which has it's drawbacks, you get the feeling thoughout the read that Arienrhod is constantly being dwelled upon, and much of the 600+ pages are spent backtracking on character developments. This detracts from what could have been one of the better storylines in sci-fi, I wanted to hear more about the Sibyl net and the mers. I feel perhaps a character could have been cut, or a development cut to make way for this.
At any rate, if you liked the Snow Queen then you need to be reading this, however don't expect to finish with a pleasent feeling. There are some slow parts in the beggining and middle, but once you hit the home stretch it can't be put down :)
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2.0 out of 5 stars One word: boring, Aug. 15 2003
By 
Tillman Dickson Jr. "tillman_jr" (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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Snow Queen was magnificent!
Tangle Up in Blue was a solid sequel.
The Summer Queen falls flat.
It is long, slow, dull, uninspired, and seemingly directionless with well-known characters who no longer evoke empathy in the reader. Skip it unless you need a doorstop.
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The Summer Queen
The Summer Queen by Joan D. Vinge (Paperback - Feb. 1993)
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