Red Lightning by John Varley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As sequels go, when we jump a generation down the line and see how worlds have changed with the new technology, this isn't bad. It's a different kind of beast from Red Thunder.
That being said, it still focuses on character, relying more heavily on the mad scientist mcguffin than before, but that's merely to resolve the plot. I'll call that handwavium.
On the other hand, the full content of the novel is very much a coming of age with some rather heavy scenes that include some horrible disaster relief, so bad that it felt like a dystopian novel, all the way to greedy a-holes trying for power grabs between two planets.
Yes, this is an adventure that pulls off the now-traditional Mars revolution motif. Fortunately, it's also written well and light and still pays beautiful homage to Heinlein. Updated, of course. I very much recommend this for all you SF junkies who want a taste of that.
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