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Book One of the A'nzarian Chronicle
Her instructions were clear: travel to human space. Once in human space, stay there. Do not return. Speak only your name. Do not take the Test. Protect your mind. Do not speak of your world, your life or your species until you meet someone who tells you first.
Qirl had said that she must stay no more than fifteen days on any ship. If she stayed longer she would be caught. But the crew know Roivan is aboard, and she has nowhere else to go.
Rovian is the winner of the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best New Talent 2004 in Science Fiction.
I have always been a fan of 'the alien underdog' stories, especially when assisted by 'helpful humans' against 'the bad aliens' - yeah, I know it sounds corny, but these are often the best stories for kids because it teaches them to empathise with other people regardless of how they differ from us.
This story IS a kids book, let's get that clear up front. The story is written in a 'loose' fashion which doesn't bog the reader down with super-science, but does use advanced science to explain faster-that-light travel etc. An ingenious twist was to use an energy-based lifeform as a catalyst, instead of some hyper-advanced warp drive machine. It added some really interesting plot elements.
Overall, despite the story being a little too light on the Sci in Sci-Fi for my tastes, I really enjoyed it. I would be really interested to see where the plot goes from here, as this could easily have been a stand-alone story. The lack of cliff-hanger ending left me with a sense of 'all loose ends tied up' but the story did lend itself to continuation. We shall just have to see.
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"Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks."