01/06/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: DAW Books. 682 page paperback. Price: $7.99 (US), $ 9.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7564-0592-2.
check out websites: www.dawbooks.comand www.turnaround.co.uk
I've been wondering for sometime when I would ever see another book by C.J. Cherryh. I admired her 'Chanur' book series as it was taken from an alien cat-like perspective with a token human which took me to her Alliance-Union novels. I wasn't so impressed with 'Cyteen' and 'Regenesis' is a follow-on to that.
Essentially, the plot revolves around the clone of Arianne Emory coming to adulthood, resurrecting people her original was associated with to ensure things moved on as they did before, chiefly with the genetic projects that would take generations to overseer and complete. The overall aim of this was to restore a semblance of balance rather than as a means to improve things. Whether this was intended to ensure that there were no deviations from the plans is hard to say. Considering that the original Emory was assassinated by one of her own team should have at least had gotten the new Ari to consider more in creating the new clones than just duplicates.
Much of the story is taken up with showing the new Ari Emory taking up her new position and asserting her authority. Cherryh goes into too much detail doing this which tends to make things drift a bit into insignificance when anything significant happens. When there are novels with so much print, there is often a tendency for it not all to sink in. Indeed, towards the end of the book when there's a revolution, Ari is actually not at the epi-centre and events are reported to her and then to you, the reader. Consequently, you don't really see the revolution coming and it seems like something tacked into the plot to rush things on towards the end.
A lot of wordage does not hold up an insubstantial plot I'm afraid to say and this is nothing like her great earlier works. Yes, Cherryh still has an ability to create interesting characters but they really do need a lot more plot around them than the seven month period used for this book. However, Cherryh's back, needs to be encouraged but I hope she does better than this book next time.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA