Thursday, November 15, 2007

Dark Space - by Marianne de Pierres

Dark SpaceDark Space is the first installment in the Sentients Of Orion series by Australian author Marianne de Pierres. Here's a brief summary of the plot…
While drifting in space, lost due to navigational failure, mineral scout Jo-Jo Rasterovich encounters an entity that can only be described as "God". When word gets out, academics from across the Orion sector scramble to gain favour with the entity, whom they named Sole. However, not all of the sentients of Orion hold this god in awe and some are deeply suspicious of its intentions.

Meanwhile on the planet Araldis, Baronessa Mira Fedor is being cheated out of her heriditery role as Pilot First. Her family's genetic makeup allows her to communicate with the sentient, deep-space ships capable of interplanetary travel and the Principe wants to transfer her genes to his son Trinder.

While Mira is on the run from those that would perpetrate this atrocity and doom her to insanity, Araldis is invaded by a race of what appears to be giant water spiders whose only aim appears to be to decimate the population and feed on them. Only the Orion League of Sentient Species can lend aid but someone would need to got offworld to let them know and OLOSS is somewhat preoccupied in communicating with "God".

Can Mira evade capture by her own people and prowling aliens, get to the planet's only remaining spaceship Insignia and get the news of the invasion to OLOSS and exactly how is the misogynistic Jo-Jo Rasterovich and nefarious alien Tekton involved in all of this? As for the Entity, only it knows what its priorities are and it isn't telling...yet!

I really liked this story! With one arc following Mira as she flees the Principe and his surgeons, one following Trinder as he is recruited into the local Carabinere, one following the alien Tekton as he vies with his peers for the attention of the Sole entity, one following Jo-Jo on an erotic, drunken romp and then there's Sole and whatever it's up to.

Mira and Trinder's stories get sucked into the after affects of the invasion of their world while Jo-Jo and Tekton get involved for some pretty dodgy dealing, which seems to have some involvement with Araldis. There's certainly enough going on in this tale to keep you reading avidly on. Jo-Jo and Tekton's antics are verging on the hilarious in places while Mira and Trinder, used to lives of luxury as aristocrats, are seeing things from the perspective of victims of war.

Definitely worth reading and I hope the sequel continues at this level.

Genre: Science-Fiction.
ISBN: 978-1-84149-428-9
My Rating: 8/10

No comments: