Thursday, October 31, 2013

Review:: The Sixth Line of Defense by Shiva Winters

The Sixth Line of DefenseThe Sixth Line of Defense by Shiva Winters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Sixth Line of Defense by Shiva Winters

Shiva does it again.

Shiva Winters has a style a draws me right into the character right in the beginning. In this case she sounds like your average troubled teen who has to deal with a lot of intercity thugs at school. Only Shiva (this is also the name of the protagonist) has been bounced from school to school because she has a specific boiling point where she can no longer container herself in the face of adversity. She's proactive and she's tough and she doesn't back down and rarely loses the fight. She's been shifted from one bad school to another because of this.

Shiva is a special case as we soon find out both through her and through her handler Devon who has something in common with Shiva. Both are genetic soldier of a bygone era that were created to win the war and save the day. Except Shiva is from the 6th generation of these soldiers. Devon is from the 3rd gen and gens 4 and 5 were so horrible that the ones that didn't get put down are on ice. That means that everyone expects Shiva from gen 6 to be the worst.

That's pretty much the set-up for this story.

This book also contains a theme common to Shiva Winter's other writing. That theme is that there is a special bond between people that goes beyond friendship, sex, and even sometimes love. It knows no bounds when it happens and it's a profound experience and in some case as with the Salak'patan Series it can be deadly to both parties when on member of the bond dies.

This book also contains a heavy lesbian theme which is introduced fairly soon in the novel. Shiva and Vala meet at a special school (one that Devon has found for Shiva) and they bond and become very close in a short time, since that is the nature of the bond it makes the quick romance become somewhat believable.

Besides the bond itself we find that Vala has some special significance in the plot of the story.

Ultimately because of the failure to integrate the 4s and the 5s into society the military has been reluctant about the 6s and have only tried to integrate a handful of which all have failed except Shiva and as we mentioned Shiva has problems. Part of the plot is that someone wants them to have problems because they want to bury them deep. It eventually comes out that it's all part of a plot that hinges on eliminating the 6s who in part were created in-case the enemy was ever able to compromise the 4s and 5s and turn them against the military.

As the blurb mentions this story is about what it means to be human and that is definitely examined in a number of ways throughout the Narrative.

And that brings us to Shiva's style of writing. Her narrative is rich and sometimes her sentences are long and descriptive. And these are all things I enjoy about her writing. I will caution those who are severe about grammar spelling and general editing that this once again is not the book for you. Of those I took time to mark there are over 30 missing words or double words or things like than instead of then and in some cases ambiguous statements that sound wrong in context which might be more missing words or misspelled.

This is a good SFF for Young Adults and it contains some reasonable lesbian romance.

J.L. Dobias

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