01/12/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Orbit. 394 page paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-760-0.
check out website: www.orbitbooks.net and www.mariannedepierres.com
When I was young I often wondered about the need of 'The story so far' at the beginning to a book in a series. Then again, back then, there were few SF book series and I tended to only get into them when the series had been going for a couple years and read them within a short period of time. With so many SF book series out these days, it does make more sense to have one in there, not because of us older book reviewers, but simply because I doubt if any reader is going to be twiddling their thumbs between books or multiple reads of the earlier books to remember all the complexities or is that just me?
Plunging into this book, there was little connecting Mira Fedor to her dilemma of seeking out help for her people under hostile occupation on her Spanish-orientated planet and more like a detour for a couple months when she becomes pregnant. We see what happens to her and a variety of other characters from their own viewpoints, albeit in third person, in a mosaic which unifies them towards the end. Oddly, its only towards the end of the story that we're given a reminder of why Mira Fedor is on the run and that she carries a gene that allows her to pilot alien spaceships that is usually dominant only in males.
Unlike the earlier books which were a lot more rounded in depth, author Marianne de Pierres relies far too much on dialogue than action for what is going on and fails to make connections between characters and readers to really make me care for any of their dilemmas. I'm hoping that this is a glitch in a middle of a series books.
I dislike giving a downer on a book series but side-stepping the main driving force of the opening books does not help a series to progress.
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