certainly deserves all the praise it receives from sci-fi critics. I see it frequently described as a space opera, which it is, but it's also at least 1/3 crime noir, and a fair portion of it is horror as well, along the lines of Dead Space
(the only video game for which I had to drink to play, because it made my nerves so bad) or The Thing
. All of the main characters are complex and believable, Detective Miller of the crime noir portion of the novel being my favorite. Miller is an aging detective who becomes obsessed with a missing woman case, eventually finding himself dragged into the larger events in the novel. As the story progresses he finds himself willing to take greater risks and make larger sacrifices in order to find her, to include putting both his safety and his mental health at risk. He has a tragic, haunted part in the novel that I really enjoyed. Caliban's War
is next in the trilogy. It's another 600-pager but Leviathan Wakes
never lost my attention so I'm hoping the sequel will be the same. Go pick it up, sci-fi fans.The Naked Communist
was written by an ex-FBI agent at the height of the Cold War and is a treatise on the dangers and failures of Communism. The middle of the book deals with the history of Communism from the murders of the Romanovs to The Bay of Pigs. I found it to be immensely interesting despite the brief amount of time he was able to dedicate to each major communist-related incident during that 40 year time span - the amount and breadth of Communist espionage that occurred openly and secretly in America was especially shocking.
The rest of the book I had problems with. For starters, the book is absolutely rife with grammatical errors. Missing words, incorrect words (tail instead of fail), punctuation, numerical errors (the year 2939 instead of 1939) - all stuff that would have been missed by spell check but should not have been missed by any high school newsletter editor. There was a huge number of these errors; I'd say one every two or three pages. It makes the reader wonder if the fact checking was as sloppy as the editing. The beginning chapters deal with the motivations and beliefs of Marx, Engels and Stalin, and go on quite a bit about Communist philosophy (especially "there is no God; Man is God"), theories on Nature and the origin of life (Communist short answer: it was random and that's all you need to know). Not real bracing stuff. The end of the book addresses the future threats of Communism and what we can do about it (Skousen short answer: be a good Christian), and also includes a relatively famous 45-point list
of Communist goals, many of which have since been reached. Skousen seems pre-occupied with the fact that Communism is an atheistic organization and concludes that adhering to western Christian values is integral to protecting against the Red threat, even going as far as to suggest that western atheists and agnostics are human petri dishes for the Communist agenda. It was a narrow, myopic defense strategy in my opinion, particularly since it seems to me that just a history of the atrocities, tactics, and failures of Communism ought to be enough to teach western nations why a defense is necessary. Maybe I need to look for *that* book.