Looking for some Christmas books? Brent A Harris joins me as we review some of our recent reads. Brent leads off with three reviews, and I hop in below. Oh, and do share what you've been reading in the comments below!
Hunting Darkness, by Ian C Bristow
A Slight Case of Death, by Robert Lee Beers
Available at: https://www.graphicaudio.net/a-tony-mandolin-mystery-1-a-slight-case-of-death.html
Remanence, by Jennifer Foehner Wells
Remanence is the sequel to Fluency, a splendid space opera about first contact with an alien spaceship adrift in Earth's solar system. One NASA mission later and... here we are, at the point where you probably should stop reading if you haven't read the first novel. You can read my previous review of that book here.
So, spoiler warning duly given, we now have a slimmed down crew of humans in charge of the vessel and lead character Jane Holloway having gone beyond her role as team linguist to have become the commander of the new vessel, with a mental bond with the tentacled creature that controls the vast spaceship.
That connection has given her a new mission - to take the ship back to the race that created it, a voyage to the stars with an undermanned vessel and unprepared for what comes next.
In the same vein as the book it follows, it's very much a fun adventure, but what's really nice about the book is that underneath the soaring opera are some really nice ideas about language, gender, cultural differences and the nature of communication itself with the alien navigator able to telepathically communicate with the crew - sometimes with a power so raw it can override their own motives. Throw in a frisson of romance and the occasional - sometimes awkward - sex scene and it's a real mix of light adventure and thoughtful exploration.
By the end, answers that were sought have been replaced by new questions, new alliances have been forged and new enemies discovered, and the mission has taken on a much broader goal.
Book 3 awaits.