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The Hidden Family (Merchant Princes) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 3. Juli 2006


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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 327 Seiten
  • Verlag: Tor Books; Auflage: Reprint (3. Juli 2006)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0765352052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765352057
  • Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: 14 - 18 Jahre
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 10,6 x 2,3 x 17,1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 114.544 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"Miriam Beckstein, aka Countess Helge Thorold-Hjorth of the Clan, finds her own world to conquer in this fast-moving sequel to "The Family Trade." . . . Stross continues to mix high and low tech in amusing and surprising ways. . . .[he] weaves a tale worthy of Robert Ludlum or Dan Brown." -"Publishers Weekly"

Synopsis

"The Hidden Family" is the second volume of Charles Stross's thrill-a-minute saga of multiple worlds. Miriam, a hip tech journalist from Boston, discovered her alternate world relatives in The Family Trade, and with them an elite identity she didn't know was hers. Now, in order to avoid a slippery slope down to an unmarked grave, Miriam, known as Lady Helge to the Family, starts applying modern business practices and scientific knowledge to a trade dominated by mercantilists - with unexpected consequences for three different timelines, including the quasi-Victorian one exploited by the hidden family.

Kundenrezensionen

4.0 von 5 Sternen
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von javelinx TOP 500 REZENSENT am 17. Februar 2007
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Having gotten tired of elves and dragons as well as space-battles and clones lately, it was a pleasure to pick up the sequel to "Merchant Princes". The story runs smoothly, the idea of two (or three) parallel worlds presents a combination of concepts, mafia-like trader-families in pre-industrial surroundings which are capable of "world-sliding". These in combination with a smart heroine, a tough journalist juggling modern tech and mercantilistic knowledge, and lots of action, make for a fast and captivating read. The series reminds a little of the TV-Series "Sliders", and of course of Roger Zelazny, but it feels different and new, and I'm looking forward to the next one.
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Von M. W. Broscheit TOP 500 REZENSENT am 17. März 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
"The Hidden Family" ist der zweite Band des britischen Autors Charles Stross in seiner Reihe um eine Familie aus Handelsfürsten "The Merchant Princes" einer Mischeung aus SF und alternativer Geschichte. Die Serie hat 2006 den "Sidewise Awards for Alternate History" in diesem Sub-Genre der SF Literatur gewonnen.
Die Protagonistin Miriam Beckstein, in unserer Welt eine taffe Wirtschaftsjournalistin und in der mittelalterlichen Parallelwelt die Countess Helge Thorold-Hjorth of the Clan, wird immer tiefer in die Geheimnisse und Intrigen ihrer ganz besonderer Familie verstrickt. In unser Welt des 21ten Jahrhunderts verdient diese weitverzweigte Familie ihr Geld mit dem Schmuggel von leicht zu transportierenden Gütern u.a. auch Rauschgiften. In der Welt aus der sie ursprünglich kommen und die entwicklungsmäßig gut 500 Jahre hinterherhinkt, haben sie sich mit der in der Familie vererbten Fähigkeit des Weltenwanderns zu einflussreichen Handelsfürsten aufgeschwungen, da sie neben Luxusgütern auch Zugang zu modernen Waffen und Medikamenten haben. Sie sind allerdings nicht so zahlreich, dass sie komplett die Macht übernehmen können und konkurrieren mit dem alten Erbadel.
Miriam hat aufgrund ihrer Herkunft und Erbansprüchen viele Feinde innerhalb und außerhalb der Familie, die komplexen Zusammenhänge, Bündnisse und Feindschaften werden erst langsam im Laufe der Handlung aufgedeckt. Bei einem Anschlag auf ihr Leben entdeckt sie den Zugang zu einer weiteren Parallelwelt und beginnt mit derselben Entschlossenheit wie im ersten Band auch diese Welt zu erforschen.
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Von uli ulrich am 18. Oktober 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Unsere Heldin entdeckt noch eine dritte Welt, die sie und ihre Familie besuchen kann. Wieder an gleicher Stelle, aber so 100 Jahre zurück im Anfang des Industriezeitalters. Und dann entdeckt sie gewissermaßen die verlorenen Stämme.
Es wird gewalttätiger und das Blut spritzt !
Der Reichtum der Familie beruht auf Drogenschmuggel und das kann natürlich nicht sein.
Man kann ja auch mit Wissen handeln.
Unsere Heldin hat einen guten Freund, der ihr alle Wege erklärt hat.
Dann gibt es den Verräter aus den eigenen Reihen und der Freund wird einfach so erschossen, ohne etwas heldenhaftes getan zu haben. Gefällt mir nicht, sinnlos.
Wenn man dann noch die Inhaltsangaben der nächste Bände liest, irgendwie nicht mehr unterhaltsam.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 39 Rezensionen
18 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
entertaining but average read 18. Juli 2005
Von B. Capossere - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The Hidden Family picks up at the end of The Family Trade and continues that story's basic premise, in both good and bad fashion. In the good, the story remains fast-paced, a quick and entertaining if not too deep read. Stross introduces us to another world here, one that lies somewhere between our own and the Clan's both technically and socially, opening new and more interesting settings. Miriam remains an active, strong character, joined by others equally strong. Questions from book one are answered while new ones are raised. And as he did in book one with regard to the medieval setting, Stross continues to capture the gritty reality of non-modern times, unlike many fantasy authors, though at times he does so too obviously, as when he has one of his characters shrilly make that point in a lengthy paragraph.

On the bad, the story continues to be bedeviled by jargon. Miriam still is too accomplished, too pre-set in convenient fashion to take over the situations. The characters still lack some depth and the romance, as it was in book one, reads as if Stross can't decide if he wants it realistic or as parody. And some of the questions answered seem a bit too pat or contrived. The book does come to some resolution at the end though it also obviously leaves room for more.

If the first book was mildly recommended, this one is as well, perhaps less so as one would hope for some improvements between one and two. The addition of the second world does add interest, however, so recommended it is, if not with a lot of excitement.
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
It's Pneumatic, not Pneumonic 7. November 2005
Von L. L. Daugherty - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The Hidden Family, book 2 of the Merchant Princes saga picks up where book one left off. Miriam Beckstein was a journalist for a Red Herring-like magazine focusing on the Massachusetts bio-tech industry. A heretofore hidden past makes that life almost impossible to continue. In book 2, Miriam decides to strike out on her own to discover who has been trying to assassinate her as well as establish a business foothold of her own so that she can deal with her avaricious and unpleasant family from a position of power.

Very much mental chewing gum, The Hidden Family is a mildly interesting if sometimes irritating read. Miriam is a pleasantly strong female character but far too glib and adaptable to her circumstances while her circumstances are too accommodating for her. She manages to move through the action of the book without any serious obstacles to her plans. There's no sense that she could encounter a significant setback that would endanger her entire scheme at any moment that would require her ingenuity and intelligence to resolve.

Miriam knows all the questions and has all the answers, even in places she's never set foot in, before.

While most of the female characters come across as fairly strong, independent women they are interchangeable, without distinctive voices or personalities. There were times I had to re-read passages to determine which female character was speaking, when two or more were in a scene. Mr. Stross does slightly better at making the male characters distinct but all the men, every last one, are from Central Casting. None of the characters, male or female, inspire strong emotions in the reader. There is no 'evil' character he offers up that has a sympathetic side to them and there is no 'good' character that has a repellant side to them (except one that is never, ever exploited in either book). The supposedly Machiavellian maneuverings of her extended family are never very Machiavellian or very subtle and her brief confrontations with them at the end of the book come across more as petty familial squabbling than the nuanced maneuverings for advantage that the author intimates.

The 'romance' in the book has all the emotional heat of a clean, empty charcoal grill. While I appreciate that the author wants to focus on action and not sex I'd like to have seen why there was an intense attraction between Miriam and Roland rather than being told repeatedly it was there. While, in Denis Leary's words, 'chicks dig jerks' (sadly true) one cannot quite believe 'chicks dig wimps' even good looking, exquisitely dressed ones. Miriam isn't that shallow in other areas of her life, why is it the case with Roland?

Beyond these quibbles, Mr. Stross uses phrases like 'pocket torch' interchangeably with 'flashlight' and other differences in expression and slang that I can't think of specifically at this instant. There are continuity issues with the slang, minor characters and settings that a good editor should probably have caught.

One last thing. It's pneumatic tires not pneumonic tires. A good editor should have caught that, too.

My husband is a fan of Zelazny which is why he's drawn to these books and it was on his recommendation I read them. I won't be rushing to read the third book in the series if there is one.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Wanna Buy a Tubeless Tire? 14. August 2006
Von Marc Ruby™ - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Charles Stross is a true genre bender. Just when you think you've got him pegged he goes off in a different direction. Often several ways at once. Stross is one of those authors who has a good idea and promptly writes a book about it. And if it works out, he writes another book and makes a series of it. The Merchant Princes explores the idea of inter-dimensional travel, from, of all things, a business perspective.

In the first volume, The Family Trade, freelance journalist Miriam Beckstein discovers that she isn't Miriam Beckstein, but Helge Thorvold-Hjorth, a member of a clan in another dimension that has discovered how to travel to our own, and have set up a drug dealing business in order to buy goodies for their otherwise primitive, barely post-feudal, lifestyle. Think medieval mafia and you will have the big picture. In between various attempts on her life Miriam realizes that the Thorvold-Hjorth business model has reached its limits and she sets off, credit card in hand to make money where no journalist has gone before. Hence this novel, The Hidden Family.

Miriam, in the process of trying to discover who is plotting against her, discovers that there is more than one plot afoot. Somebody else besides the Clan can trip the dimensions fantastic and this new group has discovered an entirely new world of their own, something of a combination of an early 19th Century lifestyle with a good deal of modern science mixed in. Call it techno-Gothic. With three worlds before her, Miriam quickly realizes the opportunities for profit and sets about making a large profit while dodging assassins and plots to wrest her position and power away from her.

This is a great story, but it has some severe believability problems. The most glaring of this is how easy it is for Miriam to set up as an entrepreneur in a world that frowns on women doing much more than child-bearing and tatting. Especially when her stock in trade are things like advanced automobile breaks. Going in the other direction her plan is to track down artworks that were lost in this world, but still exist in the other. It seems to me that setting up in business as a rediscoverer of lost masterpieces is bound to attract a lot of unwelcome attention.

However, if you can manage the willing suspension of disbelief, this is an interesting story that is completely different from run-of-the-mill dimension hopping. Miriam is tough and determined to succeed, and if she doesn't get caught, she is destined to be a billionaire. Now how often do you get to read a series about a billionaire journalist?
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A charming British voice 17. August 2005
Von Edward E. Rom - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Before I jump into the review, I have to point out that one of the other reviewers attributed the Riverworld series to Roger Zelazny -- wrong, it was Philip Jose Farmer who wrote the Riverworld books.

I have become a fan of Charles Stross, and have now read all five of the novels (which I am aware of) that he has in print. He definitely knows how to grab the reader (at least this reader!).

I liked this particular book better than I liked The Family Trade. The Family Trade seemed to me to start out awkwardly. I have done some (so far uncommercial) writing myself, and I have noticed something I think of as the "transition point" -- before this point, I feel like I'm just making stuff up, while after this point, I feel like it's all real and the characters and the situation are forcing things in a certain direction. The Family Trade felt like Stross "just making up stuff" almost halfway through. If I hadn't read others of his before this one, I might have given it up as a loss. The second half certainly took off!

The Hidden Family, of course, started out without this problem, the characters and the main background having been already set up in the first book. I liked the way Stross thickened the plot by bringing in another alternate world along with the long-lost kinfolk, as well as the intrigue etc. (no spoilers here!).

Others have commented on the realism of the pre-modern settings, Stross' grasp of factors that many fantasy authors tend to ignore, and so on. I have only one minor (very minor!) quibble, and that is the fact that Stross writes like an Englishman, and sometimes his American characters don't sound American to me at all! There is one sequence in the story where one character is telling the other to "come on!," and I kept hearing it in my mind's ear as "COME on," rather than the American "come ON." I suppose it came out like that because of the surrounding dialogue etc. As I said, this is very minor (most readers probably would never notice), and won't keep me from buying his next novel in hardcover, the minute it comes out.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
fun but too fast, too light 13. August 2005
Von bookstealth - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
It's a decent sequel, so if you liked the first book this one will probably satisfy your appetite for 'what happens next.' Stross has a lot of fun playing with ideas and what-ifs--and if anything there are too *many* concepts to fit the plot.

As a reviewer noted upthread, it's almost like the basics for one really chewy, excellent book were split into sketchy form in two books. It's rather frustrating because the promise of so many strong, interesting elements are never fully developed.

The main character is fine; rather a relief, in fact. She's smart and resilient without being hokey-spunky. (I'm really, really tired of spunky heroines.) She's fairly well filled out, though not really developed. C'mon, she's deliberately changing entire worlds to suit her convictions. That rates some serious background right there. Iris, her feisty ex-radical adoptive mother, is a fine character gone begging. Brill, the relocated fugitive from the medieval world, provides some interesting takes on modern life but even her dazzled adoption of the modern world is basically occassional filler.

The lack of strong character development presented a problem for me in keeping some of the byzantine power struggles straight. Too many of the players left me wondering, "Now, which one is HE again?" Most of them are little more than names, with maybe a titch of physical description thrown in once. A book built around warring factions needs hooks at least to keep overt team rosters straight.

I *liked* this book, so don't take this review as a pan. It's not. The book is a fast, fun, interesting read. It just whets interest that it doesn't really fulfill. The basics are there; it just could have been a terrific book instead of just a pretty good one.
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