Cover Image: Fleet Elements

Fleet Elements

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Member Reviews

Walter Jon Williams is the author of nearly 40 novels. Fleet Elements was published in 2020 and is the second in his Praxis series. It is the 22nd book I completed reading in 2023.

Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to mature situations and mature language, I categorize this novel as R.

The Praxis, a mix of humans and aliens, is what remains of the Shaa empire. It has succumbed to civil war, and the humans are not doing well against the aliens. Captain Gareth Martinez and Lady Caroline Sula lead the hope for human survival. They were once lovers, but now Martinez is married to Lady Terza Chen. She is the daughter and heir of Terran Lord Chen.

Martinez and Sula have a chance to lead humanity through the crisis. They must overcome the politicians, the military, and the fanatics. They must also resist the renewed attraction that is pulling them back together. Sula is also threatened by her secret past.

I enjoyed the 12.5 hours I spent reading this 509-page science fiction novel. While this novel can be read standalone, you should read The Accidental War first. This novel did end abruptly. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5

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Really way to many characters introduced at once. Not interested in reading the pages of synopsis on characters until I decide if I like the book and if it's worth reading. It took a lot away from the story trying to remember who they were and how they fit in.
Otherwise a very good read, good story line, good action scenes. Didn't love the characters but they emerged lifelike from the pages. Will read more of this series.
Military space fight scenes, arranged marriages in wealthy families, power of the aristocracy all covered in this book.

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Fleet Elements by Walter Jon Williams- Military Space Opera set in William's Praxis series. This would be number five in the series, but really set in a second trilogy, being the second book there, following "The Accidental War". It's filled with exciting space battles, knuckle-biting encounters, and dazzling escapes. On the other hand, as with the first four books, there is a wispy tangle of romance and political intrigue that just goes on and on, making it a bit of a slog. I found the main characters Martinez and Sula, who appear in all the books, interesting and engaging, but many of the others seemed stock figures with unnecessarily long dull back stories. And, yes, I have read other books in this series, so I know from what I speak. Still the space opera part is first rate.

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Williams has written an interesting military space opera what will keep the reader engaged until the end. I liked the plot and the characters that were developed. I look forward to the next novel by Williams.

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