Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
The Liaden Universe
SciFi/ ppb version
**** 4 out of 6 stars
cover - I like this cover - except the girl is supposed to have this super curly hair that she can't do anything with, and here it's pictured straight. Whatever - that's minor. Cool looking little flying machine though.
Basically, Saltation is the story of Theo Waitley's school career. In the first Theo book, Theo went from a "clumsy" danger to society at large type of kid to a self possessed, graceful young woman who has the potential of becoming a great pilot, and being a pilot is no small thing in these novels.
In Fledgling a pilot scout has offered to sponsor Theo in an elite piloting school - so Theo ends up going. Problem is, that there's unrest on the planet where the school is situated. Seems the locals aren't to happy about all the "interlopers" who have the audacity to expect equal treatment. So the beginning of the book is concerned with Theo finding her way, coming into her own as a leader and keeping her scores up as well as keeping a long distance relationship going. The second part of the book contains a charge of fighting between Theo and another student, which has even stronger ramications than expected...
Although I did enjoy reading this novel, I didn't enjoy it as much as I liked reading Ghost Ship (the third in Theo's story) or Fledgling. The book spanned a few years, and Theo did quite a bit growing up but she might come across to some as a pretty strong "mary sue" type of character - the girl is so busy keeping her grades up that she seriously does NO Wrong - ever. On top of that, she's kind of naiive to human nature and the "evils" that people can get up to. So she's usually surprised when something bad happens. I already know that the third book was more enjoyable for me, and I've already read two other Liaden Universe novels or I might have been turned off from the series based on this book alone. Enjoyable, but not a book that would keep me reading a series without knowing the other books were better.
Dialogue was okay, plot lines pretty simple with the typical boarding school politics; good kids vs stuck up kids; rich kids vs local kids, etc. There are some fun characters - a certain one armed professor and an old woman professor who is sooooo wrinkled it's amazing she's still standing (and her hourglass!), and the NorBears that are on a space station that Theo befriends (the NorBears, not the spacestation, *g*).
All in all - a decent book, just not very exciting. Because I have read some other novels concerning other characters in this universe that I've enjoyed, I will keep reading the series