Genre: science-fiction with a hint of romance
Cover: captivating the eye
Jean Johnson's first novel in an explosive new science fiction trilogy set in the world of the national bestselling Theirs Not to Reason Why series - set two-hundred years earlier, at the dawn of the First Salik War...
Born into a political family and gifted with psychic abilities, Jacaranda MacKenzie has served as a border-watcher and even spent time as a representative on the United Planets Council. Now she just wants to spend her days in peace and quiet as a translator - but the universe has other plans...
Humans have long known that they would encounter more alien species, and while those with precognitive abilities agree a terrible war is coming, they do not agree on who will save humanity - a psychic soldier or a politician.
But Jackie is both.
After she is pressured into rejoining the Space Force to forestall the impending calamity, Jackie makes an unsettling discovery. Their new enemy, the Salik, seem to be rather familiar with fighting Humans - as if their war against humanity had already begun...
Even though I loved the last book in the previous series, Theirs not to reason why, I was also disappointed in it as it was so much more tell than show. So I can happily report that that is not the case with this book. I loved every page of it.
There is a note from the author in the front of the book, why she has written Ia’s story first, while this one is chronologically first. But even though you will connect more with this story after reading Ia’s books first, this can totally be read and enjoyed as a stand alone.
Jackie has been asked to step down from her political career, and resume active duty again. She is a powerful psy, with many different powers, she was a Major in the space force, and is now ready to settle down as a humble translator. But precogs have foreseen Jackie and a special team meeting with new alien races, both hostile and friendly.
And so Jackie goes on her mission, with a special handpicked team of specialists. Only the pilot hates her on sight, as he hates all psy’s. As Jackie is a powerful telepath among things, it is very difficult to shut down his thoughts and feelings about her. And if he does not clean up his act, she will have to get him booted of the team. And that is bad, as he has his own role to play.
And unexpectedly, they do find aliens, hostile ones, who like to eat their sentient prisoners alive. Prisoners whom are surprisingly humanlike. So when the Salik try to capture Jackie’s ship, she manages to escape, using her powers to the limit, and saving their remaining prisoners as well. And so, first contact is made, as was foreseen. And as soon as the first contact has been made, Jackie is in charge of the mission, as the first Human Ambassador.
The story builds from there, getting to know one another, and with Jackie being a telepath with a real knack for languages, it takes only a little time to connect with one of the aliens, and exchange their languages telepathically. But they both learn more about the other than perhaps was wished. Secrets are revealed on both parts.
The rescued V’Dan first think of the Terran rescuers as children, as they don’t have the “jungen” coloring an adult V’Dan person gets when maturing, but soon they do realize that the Terrans are mature adults. At least, most of them do.
So now they have to find a way to exchange more information, and find out more about those hostile Salik before they find Earth and its colonies, and to find the V’Dan homeworld, so they can bring their guests home.
I loved this story, it was fascinating to read about it all. Jackie I felt an instant liking for. She is not a young girl, but a mature woman with a long career behind her. She wants nothing more than to perform for the next festival in her home province Hawaii, and dance a special hula. But now she has to go back to active duty, and embark on the adventure of a life time. And adventure that will change her whole life as well. Being such a powerful psy, she has to be extremely cautious about using her powers, and ethic. Everything she does and more especially, why, will be reviewed under a microscope later.
I loved Jackie, and how she acts, and I loved her V’Dan contact as well. He does his best to act in the best interest of his people, and to behave as a gracious guest, so unlike one of his officers.
I honestly can’t wait to read the next book, and find out what happens next. Jackie is extremely phobic about spiders, and one of the races she will meet, looks like giant spiders … As I share that trait, I have no idea how I would act. I think I would be terrified out of my mind …
© 2015 Reviews by Aurian