Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Series Worth Reading

Note: This is the 3rd book in the series. I highly recommend starting with "A Band of Roses" and "Fiery Roses." 

Salty RosesSalty Roses by Pat McDermott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Highly entertaining addition to the Irish Boru royal family alternate history.

Talty is out of the alternate dimension-hopping business (the themes in the previous two books in the series) when her and Neil's son, Donal, is born. But, she's had to take on the Crown Princess role while her father, King Brian, has gone on vacation. By the way, he hates it.

The Boru family lives on its own investments and business, not supported by the Irish government. An opportunity comes along to invest in a startup company that's produced a luxury submarine to offer to wealthy (the cost per trip isn't discussed) vacationers. Talty and Neil are invited to take a short trip on the sub to check it out.

Instead of the 3-hour tour (sorry, I couldn't resist), the Borus and their two dimension-traveling cohorts, find themselves transported to a pirate-ridden world. Talty, Neil, Richard, and Nick have to find their way home when there's nobody operating the dimension-hopping machine owned by the wealthy sub owner. But being sent to an alternate universe isn't the only issue. They also have to contend with futuristic thieves bent on stealing Earth's supply of Lutanium.

It sounds confusing unless you've read the first two books ("A Band of Roses" and "Fiery Roses"). Everything about the time machine and why the rich guy happens to have one is perfectly clear and presented at a snappy pace.

What particularly impresses me about Pat McDermott's work is her obvious detailed knowledge of everything she describes. She's used her Irish background and multiple trips to the homeland to build a very rich environment. Her descriptions of the workings of various technologies all the way from pirate boats to a bad-ass combat helicopter to an ultra-modern marine research ship reads right to me. If she's making it up, she's doing it very convincingly.

The alternate universe concept is the only semi-fantastic thing in the books, so don't be afraid you'll get bogged down in technical detail. McDermott makes her case for the dimension-hopping machine with just enough to make it plausible. Maybe more fantastic is that a royal family can be as ready for action as the Borus seem to be. Again, McDermott makes it all plausible.

Overall, I recommend all three of the Roses books. Will Talty and Neil take off on new adventures? We'll have to wait to find out. In the meantime, though, I plan to read another of McDermott's books, "Glancing Through the Glimmer," which stars another member of the Boru family.

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