Dark Lightning (Thunder and Lightning, Book 4)

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This was more a "tribute" to Heinlein's self-indulgent later work. We get the beautiful, hyper-competent, sexy young female twins Lapis Lazuli and Lorelei, cleverly disguised by making them taller and with a different hair color? We get the magic technology from super-smart savant-types. We get the "society is going to self-destruct so we should just select the people we think are worth saving and go away".

Anyway, if you're the sort who really enjoyed late Heinlein, you'll like this book. If you are irritated by Heinlein's worse qualities as a writer, you'll find them in spades here too. Apr 26, Lexxi Kitty rated it liked it Shelves: reviewed , stars , genre-science-fiction , challenge-alphabet-soup , genre-space-opera , ageto , authors-varley-john. Was a neat enough book. A good solid continuation of the series. I'm not really sure I would call it bloat or Weberesque need to be wordy but Story is told from the point of view of two women, twin teenage daughters of Jubal, the 'mad' scientist who came up with the technology they use.

They narrate the story that involves some select group of humans heading off to New Sun in a giant ship. Using that technology that I referenced. Going closer and closer to the spee Was a neat enough book. Going closer and closer to the speed of light. And the two young women, 18 or so, alternate narrating the big issues that develop. Like the part where they all might die due to 'dark lightning'. Well the problem is, or, I should say, the problem I had with the book is how much extra 'stuff' got packed in.

The two young women kinda babble and bicker with each other, but that isn't the problem. The problem is all the needlessly long explanations of everything. But, as I said, it's a good solid addition to the series. Just has a hundred of so pages that could have been trimmed. I suppose I should note that the stars of the earlier books are mostly not present. Mentioned, one or two spotted here and there, but not the focus of the book. I must admit I skimmed a lot of pointless drivel to get to the story. The "bad guys" were incompetent, the good guys kept revealing previously unmentioned talents, and always escaped trouble easily.

Don't read this book.

Novels – John Varley

Feb 12, Rachel rated it liked it. And while I still liked this book, it seemed written just as a tour of the asteroid. I would have liked to see it move the story a little further along, especially with as long as we wait between books. Sep 08, Roger rated it it was amazing. Dark Lightning was a satisfying ending to the Thunder and Lightning series.

I did get a little tired of reading about the pedestrian concerns of twin female teenagers, but certainly the resolution made up for it. Plus I did enjoy the whole "space Cajuns save the day" concept. I do not think this series has been John Varley's best work, but then again for my own reasons I will always love the Gaean trilogy the most.

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Jul 27, Sean Randall rated it liked it. I'm not sure quite how much the twin motif added to the story, the two being so similar it was oftentimes difficult to recall who was whom. Still, an exciting extrapolation and as sedate a sendoff as we might want for our intrepid ark-crew. Dec 06, Andreas rated it it was amazing. At the end of Rolling Thunder, the great asteroid starship Rolling Thunder leaves the solar system led by the extended Garcia-Strickland-Broussard clan. The ship is a classic hollow rotating cylinder, propelled to a high fraction of the speed of light by the mysterious squeezer-bubble technology invented by Jubal in Red Thunder.

As with previous installments in the series, we again jump forward a generation. The story is told in the first person by identical twins Cassie and Polly, daughters of At the end of Rolling Thunder, the great asteroid starship Rolling Thunder leaves the solar system led by the extended Garcia-Strickland-Broussard clan. The story is told in the first person by identical twins Cassie and Polly, daughters of Jubal and Podkayne. After one of Jubal's regular exits from stasis in a "black bubble", he screams that the ship must be stopped. Eventually he figures out that Dark Energy catchily referred to as "Dark Lightning" in the book may be a danger when traveling at a very high percentage of the speed of light.

However as always with Varley, the story is about the people. Jubal's scream of "Stop the Ship! In true Varley form, the worldbuilding is first-class, detailed and intricate. The characters are authentic and easily engage the imagination. The twins are in their late teens, and as such their commentary is peppered with talk of boys and fashion, but without being annoying.

Mostly it is just plain funny. After the pessimistic tone of Red Lightning and very gloomy one of Rolling Thunder, it is also nice to read an installment in the series with a brighter outlook. Apr 06, liza rated it it was amazing Shelves: sci-fi. May 08, Kathy Davie rated it really liked it Shelves: young-adult , sci-fi.

Fourth in the Thunder and Lightning young adult science fiction series and revolving around the twins: Cassie and Polly Broussard. My Take It's an adventure with scary overtones. Mutiny is never a good thing. And it all revolves around Jubal's fear of something terrible happening. It's a fear that is explored throughout and is the primary conflict in the story. However, the premise for the mutiny seems thin. Why would an old friend react like this? He's supposed to be smart. Why not talk to Travis Fourth in the Thunder and Lightning young adult science fiction series and revolving around the twins: Cassie and Polly Broussard.

Why not talk to Travis? Wait for Jubal to finish his thinking? All I can say is, it's a good thing that the Broussards are so paranoid. Although it turns out that they're not paranoid enough. The prologue was irritating. Oh, not at first. Later, when Varley repeats it all.

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What was the point of having a prologue at all? Varley sometimes uses it as an info dump, and other times, he uses it as part of the communication channels for the inhabitants of Rolling Thunder. It's almost as if Varley didn't get on his roll until later, and I wish he'd gone back and cleaned up those info dumps. Whine over. I do adore the thought Varley has put into Rolling Thunder. It's laid out like a planet with varying land "masses", rivers, villages, newspapers, etc.

I love the sound of food delivery and the dishwashing set-up. I want this! Travis buying up all these buildings; the names he bestows on the villages Grover's Mill, Grand Fenwick, etc. Think Noah on steroids. I also like the bayou "camouflage" on the Broussard homestead and its location on the river. And I'm jealous too of that treehouse! It truly is amazing how homey the interior of Rolling Thunder is. It's worth reading if only for that! The tragedy of Jubal's childhood simply reinforces my wish that parents had to be licensed.

He's such a great guy, and you can't help but wonder what wonders he'd have achieved if he hadn't suffered all that brain damage. Then again, as Varley notes, it might be that brain damage that allows him to make those leaps of intuition. Uncle Travis is a pretty easygoing guy and willing to allow a lot of leeway, er, democracy, until he disagrees. Fortunately, he doesn't disagree often.

The twins are assertive, forward, loyal, caring, and intelligent even if they don't apply it to schoolwork. As for Patrick, I did wonder about him and his reluctance to do anything during the mutiny. It is easy enough to leap over, though. Part of my frustration could well have been that it's been too long since I read the first three in the Thunder and Lightning series. Events do help Cassie make up her mind about what she wants to do with her life. And Jubal's last invention in Rolling Thunder opens up a ton of possibilities.

I hate that I'll have to wait a few more years for 5, for I do love this series. It's a group of stories that sticks in my mind and pops up every so often, making me want to re-read it. The Story Coming out of stasis, Jubal cried out "The ship must stop, or everyone will die. Their mother is Podkayne I know, she's even from Mars! Her story is in Rolling Thunder , 3 and a very famous singer.

Great-aunt Elizabeth Strickland-Garcia is a nanosurgeon with one prosthetic hand that is so much better than a real hand. She's married to Dorothy , a psychiatrist; they live in Bedford Falls. Uncle Mike Podkayne's brother is an achrondroplastic dwarf adopted by Ray and Evangeline and Aunt Marlee she's an artist have a son, Patrick , who the first real problem between Polly and Cassie. Patrick and his family live at Fantasyland, the ship's theme park; Mike manages the casino for the ship. Natalie Broussard is a third cousin.

Fortunately, Jubal's father, the fanaticall y religious Grandfather Avery died in prison. The Nguyens are the farming couple raising the pigs. Lori is standing a watch on the bridge. Rachel Waters. Katy is a ten-year-old assistant at one of the meetings. Some of the politicians include Governor Wang ; George Bull is the mayor of Freedonia Township; Mayor Oringo Ngoro of Sweet Apple he raises some varieties of apples and is the chief ecologist ; and, "Uncle" Max Karpinski , the fattest and second smartest man on the ship, is the Chief Relativist.

Skypool is… …a full-contact sport played on bicycle-like contraptions that include wings, since it's played in the air. Fortunately, parts of Rolling Thunder have differing gee levels. The twins play for the Bayouville Gators , and the story opens with their playing the Hilltown Hillbillies.

Cheryl Chang is the Hillbilly defense, the intimidator; Woody is her younger brother. Gator team members include Pippa Mendez and Jynx Molloy who are good friends with Polly and Cassie and PJ Leaping Deer while Milton Kaslov , the bright but socially clueless one: "talking to Milt for ten minutes made you have thoughts of suicide", is on the boys' team. The Gators' intimidating coach is Peggy who is absolutely deadly with martial arts. The ship , Rolling Thunder, is… …a hollowed out asteroid that's been on its way to New Sun for the past twenty years with some 20, awake inhabitants who are spread all over the inside with some 1, people per town.

There are a ton more in stasis. Sheila is the AI that controls Travis' personal ship. Colonel Jane Litchfield leads the security team that's in stasis. Black bubbles , a. You can be inside one for years, decades, and come out without having aged or aware of the time that's passed. Skippers are the people who choose to go into a black bubble and skip over real time. The Mejd Allah was the only ship that returned Red Lightning , 2 ; it destroyed a large chunk of earth when it came back.

'Dark lightning': the unseen energy of thunderstorms

Boudreaux is one of the few koi with a name. The Cover and Title The cover is dark browns and deep purple with an exterior space view of Rolling Thunder 's secret dock.

It's the captain's ship thrusting in. The author's name is large, at the top, and in lime green. The title is much smaller, at the bottom, and in white. The title is what Jubal fears, Dark Lightning. Dec 27, Douglas Berry rated it liked it Shelves: space-opera , science-fiction. Announced as the final Thunder and Lightning book, this volume kind of stumbles. It's a fun read, and Varley is still channeling Heinlein, but the first half of the novel is taken up by endless talking and almost no action.

The action, when it comes, is so predictable that I knew which character would get the Tragic Heroic Death tm. Much like in the Expanse, there is a development in this book that opens the stars to humanity. But I think it's best to end the story here. Sep 22, Daniel rated it liked it. The characters are interesting, particularly the two narrators, twin teenage sisters who alternate telling the story.

I much prefer the mindbending Varley stories, but this is solid entertainment. Jan 15, Frank Burns rated it really liked it. Rounding off the series so far. I felt this one was a bit, lighter, than the other ones. Mostly because it was a pure Heinlein pastiche with no added weight from other story strands. An enjoyable enough romp, to be sure, and still definitely a 4 star.

Heinlein at his best John Varley has conjured for us a story that evokes Heinlein at his best, I want more of Cassie and Poly and Jubal and Travis and spacetime bubbles!!!!! Aug 27, Andy rated it really liked it.

Black Lightning

Not bad; ending sucked. Dec 28, Michael rated it liked it. It's only fair to warn you that I am a long-time Varley fan and have read all his work multiple times. Van Meter and Hamner give us a solid, compelling hero at the center of a rich, fully-realized world. If you only pick up one Black Lightning book, this is the one to get. Her eventual answer? Hell yes. Anissa, who has the ability to control her density, takes on the codename Thunder to join this much younger, hipper roster of Outsiders let by Nightwing and Arsenal.

There, she not only gets her first taste of superheroics, but winds up in a romantic relationship with Grace, a bisexual half-Amazon bruiser. Jennifer struggles to control her electrical powers and feels isolated from other teenagers as a result, but her brief tenure on the JSA gives her the chance to interact with her superheroic peers more than ever before. Are you watching the show? What do you think?

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