MandaBerry's Books

One person's thoughts on a whole lot of books

Review: The City of Pearl by Karen Traviss (Wess’har #1)

The City of Pearl by Karen Traviss (Wess’har #1)

from the back of the book

Environmental Hazard Enforcement officer Shan Frankland agreed to lead a mission to Cavanagh’s Star, knowing that 150 years would elapse before she could finally return home.  But her landing, with a small group of scientists and Marines, has not gone unnoticed by Aras, the planet’s designated guardian.  An eternally evolving world himself, this sad, powerful being has already obliterated millions of alien interlopers and their great cities to protect the fragile native population.  Now Shan and her party – plus the small colony of fundamentalist humans who preceded them – could face a similar annihilation…or a fate far worse.  Because Aras possesses a secret of the blood that would be disastrous if it fell into human hands – if the gethes survive the impending war their coming has inadvertently hastened.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Bookshelf: Oh, definitely

How I Got It: Bought

I’ll admit, when I first saw this on Calico Reaction’s blog, I was kinda wary. Sci-fi with an evironmental twist? Hmm…I don’t know. But true to form, another incredible recommendation. It’s not exactly space opera, since most of the story takes place on another planet. It’s not exactly military sci-fi, because the military presence makes up a small part of the cast of characters. It’s a mixture of a little bit of everything. The book touches on everything from religion, environmental policy, the scary possible future of the corporation, family values, ethics in journalism, and human/alien relations. It sounds like a lot, but all of these subjects are integral to the story and Traviss covers them all without seeming disjointed or being preachy. The issue that stood out most to me was the conflict between interference and non-interference. How do you make scientists get along with a society that believes in not interfering with any form of life? It was really interesting. The main character, Shan, is also kick ass. She’s a tough, no B.S. cop with a mysterious past. I liked her. If you enjoy strong, female leads, and sci-fi with something more than just action, then you should check this out.


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