Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Baen, Apr 13 2010, $24.00
Theo Waitley grew up in the gentle scholarly world of Delgado. However, the half-Terran daughter of a Liaden pilot manages to enroll in pilot school. She proves incredibly adept at flying and even more incredibly inept at relationships.
When Theo landed her crippled plane on a mountain (see Fledgling) she gained fame and envy. Scout pilot Win Ton gives her a keepsake and himself though he is to marry a purebred Liaden. However she is soon caught in a “Nexus of Violence” as a target of off-worlders and others that endanger her schoolmates and the faculty. As she struggles to survive and avoid expulsion, she wonders whether to go humiliatingly home, become an aviator free lancer, or trek to her father’s clan to demand their help.
This is an interesting coming of age science fiction thriller that fans of Liaden will appreciate while newcomers will easily soar with the beleaguered heroine. Theo is a wonderful lead as a student with flying talent but is socially dysfunctional and educationally innumeracy. The audience will enjoy her escapades while new readers will be able to fly from the start, but to better understand how far Theo has come reading Fledgling provides the background.