|Chaos Space (Sentients of Orion) by Marianne De Pierres|
|Category: Science Fiction|
|Reviewer: Kimberly Saunders|
|Summary: An intelligently written space opera with a strong focus on philosophy and politics.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 432||Date: November 2008|
I have to admit that when I first opened this book I was at a loss. It is Book 2 of the The Sentients of Orion series, so I did encounter some confusion as to what had happened before to lead to the events I was reading about. I stuck with it though, and as I read along, things became much clearer though I would heartily recommend reading the first book in the series before jumping into this one, as the plot has many threads and is quite complicated.
The story begins on a world called Araldis, where women are secondary citizens and males can force conception by sheer willpower. After a surprise invasion by an insectoid race, the world lies in flames, and the heir apparent of the world's ruling party, Principe Trin is desperately trying to lead survivors to a place of safety. Knowing that should he be killed trying, he would die without an heir, he has forced himself upon the only surviving female of the correct caste, willing a conception. He then forces her to take a ship off world to seek help from their allies.
This is only possible because she herself is a freak of nature, a woman born with a gift only previously found in males: to be able to bond with the living sentient ships known as Biozoon. Together with a ragtag group of mercenaries, she makes her way towards the nearest Orion League world in search of aid. Along the way, she encounters treachery from scheming space station masters, picks up three strangers also fleeing the insectoid aliens' attack as well as a desperate and naive noble fleeing political oppression from the very world whose help she seeks. It rapidly becomes obvious that Araldis was but a victim in a massive power play by others inside the Orion League. But just why was it so important that they slaughter an entire world to get a rare sculpting material, what does a god like energy based entity have to do with it all, and just what is going on with the mercenaries? Throw in some meddling from the opposing side in an old war between human civilisations, and you get a mess indeed that Mira Fedor and her companions must untangle before her world is nothing but a cinder…
With a galactic scale and two human oriented civilisations in opposition, this promised to be a space opera of the sort I have not seen since C. J. Cherryh and her Alliance-Union Universe series of books. I was not to be disappointed. The author has indeed culled many of the best aspects of the science fiction genre, from political intrigue, to the exploration of several philosophies including Jainism, to impressive space and land battles between human and alien opponents, and even some very fascinating applications of technology; this book has it all. There is also a strong element of sex in all its nuances, so it's mature audiences only.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you will certainly enjoy The Algebraist by Iain M Banks.
You can read more book reviews or buy Chaos Space (Sentients of Orion) by Marianne De Pierres at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Chaos Space (Sentients of Orion) by Marianne De Pierres at Amazon.com.
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