Monday, March 31, 2014

Review::Fearful Symmetry (A Terran Empire Novel) by Ann Wilson

Fearful Symmetry A Terran Empire novelFearful Symmetry A Terran Empire novel by Ann Wilson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fearful Symmetry (A Terran Empire Novel) by Ann Wilson

2568 CE
14 years after Hostage and 1 year before A Matter of Honor this novel tells the story that is recounted in A Matter of Honor. So there are spoilers if you read them out of sequence as did I.

In this story Ranger Esteban Tarlac is coerced into being taken to the home-world of the enemy. With a promise that there is a possibility to end the war and the threat that should he refuse his life will end right now; he finds he has little choice.

We start once more with the enemy, which seems to be a method of writing for Ann Wilson. It doesn't fail because we do need to build some empathy for the enemy in this story. The Captain of the Traiti ship does not agree with the notion of deception that will create the moment to capture a Ranger. And it's not just any Ranger but it Esteban Tarlac so the whole deception takes a lot of planning and forethought.

Tarlac finds out he has to join a Traiti clan and undergo an Ordeal which most likely will be his death. But should he survive it could mean the beginning to the end of the war.

In A Matter of Honor I felt there were some things including potential for inter-species romance that the author danced around and never developed and I had wondered if this was some personal preference of hers. This time there is no dancing around but there are some odd contingencies in this romance that you will have to read to understand. Needless it doesn't quite answer the burning question I had.

This novel does have a strong resemblance to a retelling of a Christ like story. Again you will have to read to see what I mean. There are also again elements that remind me of Babylon 5, which only enhance the suspicion that the published dates on these are not accurate, but if they are accurate it would be nice to know because that would make it all very curious.

We come narrowly close to a Deus ex machina solution at one point in the story, but overall it doesn't dominate the outcome and seems to work well within the story. There are enough bread crumbs spread throughout to help the reader think something like this is possible within this universe.

Once again this is a well told story with more tragedy and yet some hopefulness. Great SFF as usual with the caveat that it is not the Simon Pure variety.

So far with the Novels and short stories Ann Wilson has not disappointed me.

J.L. Dobias

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