Review: Rift in the Sky, by Julie E Czerneda

This is the third and concluding Stratification book, telling the story about Aryl Sarc but also about how the Clan ended up in space, in the position and situation they occupy in the Trade Pact trilogy.

In books one and two we got to know Aryl and the people that surrounds her. In this book the imperative imposed on the author is they MUST get off Cersi, NOW. Accordingly that is what happens, and not at all in a way that is satisfactory to the reader.

No, I don’t say an author has to write feel-good stories. I’m saying sometimes the story, and the length of the story – the actual number of pages, forces the author to invent implausible plot devices. When the newly named M’hiray Clan arrives at Stonerim III, that is what happens. The removal of some of their memories, the shearing off of the connection with the O’mray, the cursory way the story is told. Not what I have come to expect from Czerneda.

While part one – Reap the wild Wind – felt like it was good on it’s own and with part two – Riders of the Storm – was well worth reading part three felt crippled, forced, by comparison. Maybe this is because I hadn’t read the Trade Pact trilogy first. I guess a lot of the more inexplicable things that happens has justification in those books, or maybe in the sequel Czerneda is planning. As I like her other books, this far, I’m willing to forgive her, to go on reading the rest of the Clan Chronicles. I would, however, not recommend this book on it’s own.
As a part of a greater story arc it is acceptable, though.

Review: Regeneration, by Julie E Czerneda

I find it almost impossible to write a review of this last part of the Species Imperative trilogy – I have no idea how or where to start, properly. Regeneration is the brilliant conclusion to a brilliant story, but it is also impossible to understand it – and this review it – as a single book.

Every species try to find it’s way to survival. Sometimes that survival comes at the cost of the survival of other species. Will Dr. Mackenzie Connor and her team succeed in their valiant try to save not only Humanity but all other species that are part of the Interspecies Union from the threat of total annihilation? And which are the greater threat – the Dhryn or the Ro? Will politics, however well intended, conspire to the end of life in space?

This concluding part is in perfect harmony with the tone of the story leading up to it. Well conceived and executed the ending part of the trilogy is as much about finding a way to handle the threat to interplanetary survival as it is about how the species imperative works on humans, namely Dr. Connor and Agent Trojanowski, both in their relationship to each other and in how they handle a threat to their home world, and this is part of what makes this trilogy worth reading – grand theme, grand setting and repercussions on a personal level makes the reader care for the characters.

I highly recommend the Species Imperative trilogy, starting with Survival.
Well worth the time it takes reading the approximately 1500 pages.

Review: Migration, by Julie E Czerneda

After having identified what threatens the lifeforms of the Interspecies Union biologist Dr. Mackenzie Connor returns to her life as a salmon researcher. The return proves difficult, though. Meeting the alien has not only provided a larger frame of reference but has also resulted in vivid flashback nightmares and a feeling of inadequacy – she is worried that the people responsible for handling the threat are looking in the wrong direction, she also worries about her vanished colleague, Dr. Emily Mamani, but she is forbidden by the Ministry of Extra-Solar Affairs to reveal anything to anyone about the true reasons for her absence from work.

Unbeknownst to her others wants access to her and her insights and she ends up being part of a multi-species effort to find a way to tackle the combined Dhryn/Ro threat to life. This proves a challenge, as the team assigned to her is suspicious of her motives.

The characters are both fun and profound, most of them with his, her, its or their own motivations and quirks and the story itself a well paced and balanced mix between action and reflection.

While part 1 (Survival) can stand on it’s own Migration is very much dependent on it’s successor (Regeneration) to provide an ending. This is, however, not a problem, because the tale holds the reader in constant suspense, making it imperative ;-) to have the concluding part near at hand when finishing Migration.

I highly recommend the Species Imperative trilogy. Start with the first book, though, if you want to get things right.