Future spying on a far flung world

Written by
Warren Hammond in 2014

Tides of Maritania is a pretty interesting short sharp adventure regarding a spy in the far off future trying to wrest control of a world gone rogue from the sphere of influence of The Empire and the godlike, anonymous Sire.

Jakob Bryce is a new spy, on his first mission to bring a technologically backward planet back into the fold of the Empire. His duty is to infiltrate the rebels by posing as one of the senior members of the rebellion, Colonel Drake Kell. Well, Bryce also has to the guy him first, and sleep with his lover.

The mission is a great success, beyond the wildest dreams of the Empire, but Bryce develops a conscience, a new way of thinking and looking at his life’s greatest accomplishment so far. Funnily enough, he doesn’t enjoy his victory nearly as much as he thought he would.

I can’t fault Tides of Maritania for its earnest storytelling and its world building. It does more than enough for the reader to understand what is at stake and guess what isn’t explicitly stated. The characters might just be a little one dimensional, the bad guys, since you don’t really feel any sympathy for them.

Tides does deal quite a lot with the themes of freedom and self determination, as well as irrational racism. It deals with the themes a little too enthusiastically, but it’s effective enough that you can forgive this fault.

If you’re looking for a little far future spy action, Tides of Maritania might just be for you. It’s not the most subtle book, but still quite enjoyable.

Rating

A decent spy novel set in the far future about a planet full of seaweed

Read this if you…

Like Avatar and Dancing With Wolves

Don’t read this if you…

Are sick of hero changes allegiance stories

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