Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Reading the Wind-Brenda Cooper

Reading the Wind
Brenda Cooper
Tor, Jul 2008, $25.95
ISBN 9780765315984

The planet Fremont was considered a dangerous place for colonization due to its odd lethal flora and fauna as much as from the meteorites that crash on its surface and it’s volcanic and quake activity. However, in spite of a need to cooperate war exploded between the original “unaltered” human settlers and the second group bioengineered to fit the orb; the purebred colonists won the sundering war.

The genetically enhanced survivors are divided between staying or leaving the planet. Whereas altered teens Chelo, Liam and Kayleen choose to stay on the only planet they know as home in spite of the big and little sundering; Chelo’s brother Joseph, his girlfriend Alicia, and their friend Bryan choose to go to the ancestral orb Silver’s Home. Jospeh wants to learn more about his roots and seek help for their broken protector, Jenna. However as Joseph navigates his way around the genemod environment of Silver’s Home, he begins to understand an angry people who thirst for avenging the genocide on Fremont with plans to eradicate the originals. Meanwhile back on Fremont, Chelo and and Liam roam wild Fremont as two of the three only known genetically changed amidst thousands of fearful originals unaware that a new race war is imminent.

The sequel to THE SILVER SHIP AND THE SEA is an exciting science fiction tale that plays out on two subplots before converging into a final confrontation. When the storyline focuses on the three teens left behind or on Jospeh’s efforts to understand Silver’s Home society and belong, the tale is excellent. When Brenda Cooper turns to the confrontational action-packed convergence subplot it feels forced and loses some of its insightfulness into a future in which a group fears bio advacements that leave them “less” than the altered next generation. Still readers will enjoy this fine look at a future form of racism.

Harriet Klausner

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