Read Recently — April 2006

An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair

Gillaine “Gillie” Davre (there is an accent on that final “e” that I just can’t find the key combo to do) has woken up in the sickbay of a space station that she has never been to. One reason she’s never been there is that her last conscious memory is of some 342 years ago, and this station probably hadn’t been built then. Gillie doesn’t know why or how she suddenly jumped ahead in time, but there are worse surprises in store for her. Like that, while she was gone, the locals have deified her . . .

Gillie is certainly an unusual person; while laying in sickbay she steps out of her body and goes wandering around astrally (which nearly causes a problem when a doctor stops by her bed and tries to wake her). She has a sentient starship named Simon (exactly what Simon is plays a role in the plot later on, and I don’t want to spoil it–let it stand as “sentient starship”) with which she is in constant telepathic contact. She has other powers we don’t learn about until later in the book.

Gillie is interrogated by the station’s commander, Rynan “Mack” “Make it Right” Makarian, who she thinks is drop dead gorgeous and who returns the favour. One complication is that Mack is a worshiper of Gillie’s “goddess”-version. Fortunately, he doesn’t realise who she is. Things quickly become more complicated. Simon is disguised as a common freighter, but he needs time to heal some damage. Gillie is perfectly willing to spend that time romancing Mack, but he has other problems (including that the church of Gillie [not the real name of the church] is making unreasonable demands on his station security). Soon, Gillie has other problems of her own.

There is a lot more I’d like to tell you, but why should I spoil your chance to enjoy this book the way I did? Two things come to mind, though: first, the cover sorta maybe kinda actually shows a scene that sorta occurs in the actual book, though I don’t recall anything saying she was dressed like that. Second, thematically this book kinda reverses the previous two: this time it’s the woman who is lying to the man because she has a big secret that could end their relationship if he finds out. It’s interesting how that works out, especially with her being the viewpoint character for most of the book.

Highly recommended.

The Shadow of Ararat by Thomas Harlan

The Roman empire, divided into two parts, persists in 600 AD. The emperor of the East is having trouble with Persia. The Emperor of the West decides to help him out. 400 pages into it (halfway) I realised I just didn’t care. I had to skip many, many pages just to finish it. I’m not sure why I had this problem. The book is not badly written, some of the characters are interesting, and the situation has potential. Maybe it’s just that this wasn’t the book for me. It may be the book for you. It may not. I know I won’t be back for book two of the Oath of Empire.

Not recommended.

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