Eos, Nov 2007, $7.99, 416 pp.
Change has come to humans and the Idomeni aliens when they first met in space and got to know each other. Right now, there is an uneasy coexistence between the two species with treaties in place to guide behavior and interactions. Hybridization is a choice to blend the two species into one, sometimes for health reason and sometimes for the need to find a better way of life. The hybrids live in Thalassa which is trying to become sovereign.
The impetus for Hybridization and alien and human getting to know one another is condemned by the leader of the Idomeni people yet some are not afraid to speak their beliefs even though they are anthemia to the zealots on his homeworld. The hybrid woman Jani Killian is shattered when her mentor is assassinated and she vows to bring his killer to justice. To do that, she will have to change the beliefs of Idomeni, wreck havoc by arranging the largest mass exodus ever known and overthrow the regime whose leaders sent the killer.
This latest Jani Killian novel is science fiction at its’ very best. Splinter groups try to drive a wedge between human and alien relations. Yet because the two species are more alike than different they are fated to achieve only minor success, but doomed to failure in the larger sense. Jani is a well developed character; she is independent, doesn’t pay attention to diplomatic protocol, does what she believes is right even if it disturbs two civilizations and is totally loyal to her friends. Kristine Smith is a superb species builder who creates a vivid picture of aliens especially on their homeworld and a deep look at human reactions to them.