Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mirror Space by Marianne de Pierres - review

Mirror Space
Marianne de Pierres
Sentients of Orion #3
SciFi 2009

****** (6 out of 6 stars)

Cover - The cover that I have is from the set printed in the US, and matches the other covers of this series.  Very industrial/engineering look with lines,  the faces, the starships, the stars and hint of planets.....all very space fiction.  The whole cover is good - with the colors and artwork.

The Sentients of Orion is a series about an entity - a vast, all knowing, all seeing entity - group of 'godheads' {those sent to study with the entity}including Tekton and Ra, an invaded planet, biozoons {sentient space ships who contract with humans to work together} and various factions of people and their governments/planet who all have their own agenda in regards to Sole {the entity} and survival & knowledge.  In the last two books we were introduced to Mira Fedor, the only female in hundreds of years (if ever) to be born with the gene that allows her to fly and interact with the biozoons, Trinder who is the heir to a vast fortune and leadership who has been a spoilt young man, Jo-Jo the man who first came into contact with Sole {almost dying, being saved by the entity and having his brain be 'refitted' into two minds - logic and emotion} as well as Rast and her fellow mercenaries, Bethany - the young biologist/mother who recently lost her daughter and husband, Djes - the young daughter who is bi-species, Thales - the young disappointed scholar from Scolar, Laspar Farr - former war hero cum opportunist...-there are many characters in this series, but if you start at the beginning (Dark Space) and work your way through the series it's easy to follow along with the characters, plot and storyline.

The planet, Araldis, has been invaded by the Saaqr - a huge insectlike being that seems to have the sole purpose of feeding from the brains of humans, taking all the liquid from thier brains first then getting all the liquid they can.  Araldis was already a hot, windy pretty much.  With the help of Rast and her two mercenary men, Mira was able to escape and end up in the tunnels of a mine, where she met up with Trin - the cousin that was going to receive her unwillingly-to-be-given gene that allows communication and compatability with the biozoons.  So Trin and his group, Mira and her group had together traveled through the mines until they were at a point where Mira was able to fly a biozoon that had been stashed away from the planet looking for help from other planets.  This all happened in the previous books....

Now Trin is still with the remaining survivors of Araldis and Mira is now pregnant (unwillingly so) and traveling with the biozoon looking for help.  Her paths intersects with JoJo at one point, and again with the mercenaries (they had parted ways earlier).  JoJo is searching for his stolen biozoon, Mira is looking for help, the Mercenaries are looking for a buck and survival.  Mira is kidnapped, saved and almost loses the baby...

After coming together for a short while, JoJo, Rast, Mira, Beth & Thales end up separated from each other - all on differing paths that will eventually meet up again.  Mirror Space is the story of their travels and close calls.  Mirror Space starts out where Chaos Space left off - Mira had been kidnapped from the Extros planet, and JoJo had leapt onto the Biozoon's entry portal, while Rast was taking off, hoping to be let on the ship rather than falling off.  

Mira wakes up in a room, being studied by some extros - they are studying things like reactions to pain and other things.  She meets Wanton, an extro who is the one doing the procedures to her.  Meantime, Trin is continuing to lead the survivors in search of an island of safety through the tunnels and then island chain, looking for a safe place to stay while hoping for rescue.  Though Trin has forced Mira to fly off in search of help, he's telling the survivors that she abandoned them.  Trin is weird, spoiled and can't seem to stop plotting.  JoJo and Rast are looking for Mira and Tekton - along with Bethany.  All are looking for a way to survive and to get help to Araldis, to make those in charge listen to what's been happening t0 Araldis - and this is harder than it should be since there are other plots that have been in motion for a while...

The story is told from the POVs of Tekton, JoJo, Mira, Trin, and in short bursts - Sole.  Marianne de Pierres does an excellent job of jumping from pov to pov, her characters never lose their 'voice', the plot seems to keep moving forward.  You're never quite sure who is to be trusted - will JoJo really remain substance-free or will he fall back on his old habits?  Will the mercenary Rast continue to help?  Rast is after all, completely in love with Mira, though Mira isn't crazy about this, JoJo seems obsessed with Mira - though he doesn't know why, and even the biozoon seems to have her own agenda regarding Mira and her unborn baby

There are definitely some machinations goin on - you're never quite sure what's going on, yet it's done in such an entertaining way, that you're enjoying this intricately plotted mystery.  It's hare for me to put forth a straight synopsis of the book, since there is such a intricate plot going on here, along with some twisted brains at work.  It all makes for a rather twisted story, with twisted characters, and a whole universe at the mercy of a bunch of people who usually only think of themselves and one woman who is pregnant and wanted by a few people for different reasons.  And then it's the end of the book - and time to pick up the final - Transformation Space.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, along with the first two of the series.  Marianne de Pierres is a master story teller, in my opinion, who has quite a way with Science Fiction, world building, plotting, language and characters.  What a woman!  What a story!

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