I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

At the outer universe are a series of world ships that are quickly falling apart and dying due to a cancerous growth.  On one of these worlds, the Katazyrna, Zan awakes with no memory of who she is only that she is a prisoner of sorts, but also is a savior as she keeps going into the Mokshi, a world that is believed to be able to leave the Legion and start anew.  Jayd tells her this and Zan feels an attraction to her but also knows that she can't completely trust her.  It seems if she wants her memories back she must take the Mokshi for that is where her memories are.  She's very limited to where she can go on the world ship and with whom she can talk to.  When Sabita talks to her Sabita gets into trouble with Jayd.  The ship is a living thing that pulses and has creatures inside it that can break down and need to be repaired. To leave the ship you spray on a suit to go to the docking bay and an opening is created that sucks you out into space once you are on a high-tech version of a space motorcycle.

Anat is the Lord of Katazyrna and the rest are considered her daughters, though some have a rank if they fight.  Zan was found around the Mokshi area when Jayd led a group of there to try to take it and failed. Jayd brought her back to try to get her to do what no other sister has been able to do.  Anat is a very impatient woman and a bit of a crazy dictator and she is fighting the Bhavajas the only other powerful group left in the Legion. They think Bhavajas are not as strong as the Katazyrna, but their leader Rasida is the creator of worlds, meaning her womb is special.  The women (there are no men in this book) all get pregnant and give birth to whatever the world needs.  Rarely is that a child.  And Jayd is pregnant with one.  Rasida wants to marry Jayd and possess her.  Jayd seeks to end the war by joining the two worlds with their marriage and then she can get what she needs from Rasida and take the metal arm that Anat wears on her arm and take the Mokshi with it. It's the only way to take Mokshi. But she's the only one who knows that. Zan doesn't remember and she can't tell Zan the plan because she might remember the truth and the truth is pretty ugly and Zan might not go along with the plan if she remembers everything so she just tells her that she will bring her the world. What she doesn't count on is Rasida being as bad as Anat and harder to manipulate.

The Bhavajas double cross the Katazyrnas and attack the wedding party on the way back to their world while they are also attacking their world.  Jayd is unaware of this.  She was given something to put her to sleep and she woke up in Bhavja when Rasida returns with Anat's arm.  Zan, meanwhile survives the space onslaught only to go down at the last stand on the ship.  All the bodies are thrown in the recycler.  The recycler is many levels down and has quite a few large scary creatures that devour the bodies that are sent there.  Zan is still alive, though badly wounded.  She meets up with an old woman who has been living there for who knows how long named Das Muni. After she heals up enough she vows to get out of there no matter that Das Muni says that there is no way out. Eventually, they come across a young woman who has climbed down a rope to scavenge named  Casamir who comes from a tribe of engineers.  They believe Zan to be crazy when she tells them about her world in space and all the things that go along with it.  Casamir agrees to take Zan to the next level though because as an engineer she must take a trek and bring something back and this is a good time to do it.

While Zan goes on her long trek to try to get back to her world she meets many interesting women who help her and runs into lots of trouble. Jayd, meanwhile, will wonder if she can trust the resistance movement that is growing on Katazyrna and on Bhavja and Sabita who has managed to survive and is given to her as a maid.  This is an incredible book with such a creative world structure and I'm not just talking about the fact that it only has women in it. There's the world of the Legion in space and the world of the ground and both are so drastically different and neither knows of the other and yet both are dying.  Will everyone make it out alive? Will the Mokshi be the saving grace it's supposed to be? Will Zan get her memories back? You'll have to read it to find out and it is definitely worth reading.

There is nothing I fear more than someone without memory. A person without memory is free to do anything she likes.-Lord Mokshi, Annals of the Legion
-Kameron Hurley (The Stars Are Legion p 3)
The common people don’t want war. Better to broker for peace, and break it, so they are willing to fight for what they have lost, than pretend that spilling cold blood will warm weary hearts.-Lord Mokshi, Annals of the Legion
-Kameron Hurley (The Stars Are Legion p 72)
The heart is a vital organ. Control the heart and you control the flesh it feeds. We all have weaknesses. The heart is mine. Once you have the heart take the head.- Lord Mokshi, Annals of the Legion
-Kameron Hurley (The Stars Are Legion p 79, 89)
I don’t know why desire has to be so complicated. I know what I need and what I want, and there is a place where those two things intersect, but it is a dangerous place. I want it nonetheless.
-Kameron Hurley (The Stars Are Legion p 86)
True power is the ability to make those who fear you desperate to love you.-Lord Mokshi, Annals of the Legion
-Kameron Hurley (The Stars Are Legion p 114)
What is love anyway but a hunger than no meal can satisfy.
-Kameron Hurley (The Stars Are Legion p 115)
Be careful what you pretend to be. It’s far too easy to become what you pretend.- Lord Mokshi, Annals of the Legion
-Kameron Hurley (The Stars Are Legion p 199)
When you understand what the world is, you have two choices: Become a part of that world and perpetuate that system forever and ever, unto the next generation. Or fight it, and break it, and build something new. The former is safer, and easier. The latter is scarier, because who is to say what you build will be any better.
-Kameron Hurley (The Stars Are Legion p 204)
The secret to leadership is not to be a particularly intelligent person. It is to surround oneself with those far smarter than oneself, and try not to kill them.-Lord Mokshi, Annals of the Legion
-Kameron Hurley (The Stars Are Legion p 256)
If you cannot kill what you love, make best friends with it.- Lord Mokshi, Annals of the Legion
-Kameron Hurley (The Stars Are Legion p 333)
Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stars-Are-Legion-Kameron-Hurley-ebook/dp/B01BKR14LA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490617311&sr=8-1&keywords=the+stars+are+legion

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