Survival: Species Imperative #1 by Julie E. Czerneda (DAW Books Inc.), 401 pages, $36 cloth. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
All killer, no filler, Julie A. Czerneda's first hardcover book, Survival, isn't your average pulpy science fiction story. OK, there's a huge blue alien and a scientist who resents that he's broken up her studies, but you grow to like Brymn and identify with Mac along the way.
Czerneda, being a former biologist herself, has the technical stuff down, but you really become more engaged with the characters.
Brymn, the alien, is looking to understand biology and finds hope with a British Columbian salmon researcher, Mackenzie Connor. He's got his own agenda, and worries about the human race.
Survival goes from scientific research to all-out intergalactic thrills, with chase scenes, an evil alien enemy and friendships betrayed - and, of course, a bit of a love interest thrown in to keep you on your toes.
Throughout the story, you can't help but look at our own societal dynamics and compare them to those of Brymn's race. No, we don't have seven arms, and most of us are under 7 feet tall, but underneath we all want the same things in some sense.
Czerneda gives the reader a good sense of a disciplined world crashing to a halt, just like in her other series, The Web Shifters and The Trade Pact Universe. Her novel, In The Company Of Others, won Canada's Prix Aurora. Survival is the first in the Species Imperative trilogy. Somewhere down the line we're all due for a Mac attack.
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