Monday, July 20, 2009

Review: Terra Insegura

A few weeks ago, I read and reviewed Marseguro by Edward Willett. Terra Insegura is the sequel.
Marseguro, a water world far from Earth, is home to a colony of humans and the Selkies, a water-dwelling race created from modified human DNA. For seventy years the colony has lived in peace. Then Earth discovers Marseguro, and a strike force is sent to eradicate this “abomination.” But Marseguro has created a genetically tailored plague to use against Earth’s Holy Warriors. With the enemy defeated, the people of Marseguro feel they are safe. But Chris Keating, the traitor who signaled Marseguro’s location to the Holy Warriors, has fled to Earth, unknowingly carrying the deadly plague within him. The people of Marseguro feel they must send a ship to Earth with a life-saving vaccine. Only time will tell what awaits them when they reach their destination.
This back-of-the-book description really only scratches the surface of what happens in this book, but it tells you everything you need to know about Marseguro to enjoy Terra Insegura. Otherwise, Terra Insegura stands on its own very well. In fact, for some, I think it will even compare more favorably, as it is a real action-packed science fiction novel, with a lot less of the back story and philosophizing found in Marseguro. This is not to say that the characters in Terra Insegura don't grapple with some weighty issues - they do, and how - but they are much too concerned with surviving to spend too much time talking about it.

My only quibble (because of course I always have a quibble) is that the author has a habit of taking a cliche, pointing out its a cliche and then doing the cliche anyway. I loved this the first time he did it.
"As you know, Captain-"
Richard sighed. "Please don't start your explanation like that, Smith. It makes me feel like I'm trapped in a bad adventure novel."
After the third time a cliche was turned on its head, though, I started to think that just because you're pointing out the cliche, it is still a cliche. You only get to use a few, so use them wisely.

That criticism is minor, though, and really did not detract from what was otherwise a very fun novel. Anyone who likes their science fiction fast and well-written will enjoy Terra Insegura.

Buy Terra Insegura on Amazon or read the first two chapters at the author's website.

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