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  • Thought provoking

    Thought provoking as only good sci fi can be. Characters that draw you in with their humanity, none are flawles but you can relate if not empathise with all of them.

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  • Seriously good Sci/Fi/Fantasy for everyone

    I really enjoyed this book. It was quite different to most other SciFi/Fantasy books in that all the characters are genetically female, but there is nothing in the book about gender roles. No women doing ‘men’s’ jobs. The characters are simply people – of all physical types and temperaments, doing all kinds of jobs. Some characters are good, some bad, some wise, some ignorant, some with open minds and some bound so tightly by tradition. After the initial surprise, you stop noticing that there are no male pronouns – at all! Jeep is a planet that The Company wants to exploit. It has been cut off from ‘civilisation’ for centuries, and is seen as ripe for picking. Unfortunately, any male (and a percentage of women) who land on Jeep, contract a virus and die. Marghe – an anthropologist – is sent to Jeep to study the ‘native’ society and to test a new vaccine against the virus. If it works, it could open up the planet for everyone The Company wants to send – it would also likely destroy Jeep society. If the vaccine does not work, then neither Marghe, nor any of the female Company workers on Jeep, will ever be allowed to leave the planet. Marghe suspects, that they are all here to stay, regardless of the vaccine efficacy. The gated Company outpost on Jeep is run by Commander Danner. She would like Marghe to stay close by, but Marghe feels she needs to go right into the middle of the land, if she is to fully understand Jeep. In particular, she wants to learn how the Jeep women have managed to procreate, and therefore make a thriving society for generations, without men. Jeep society is very tribal, and – apart from the Company compound – quite medieval in its lack of technology. Life is hard and brutal out on the land and Marghe is soon doing things she never thought she would need to, to survive. But, some of the Jeep tribes need to embrace change too, before they die out with their hide-bound, traditional ways. “Marghe had asked Thenike why the Echraidhe were so inflexible, so bound by tradition. ‘Because they are so few … All their memories interlock and look down the same path to the same places. Each memory reflects another, repeats, reinforces, until the known becomes the only. For the Echraidhe, it’s not real if it can’t be seen elsewhere, in their mother’s memory, or their mother’s mother. For them, perhaps there is no such thing as the unknown’” Memories have a much greater significance on Jeep than elsewhere, and the virus has altered more than just the morbidity of the Jeep women. They are able to sense and manipulate things hidden from off-worlders. As Marghe learns more about Jeep tribal society, it becomes clear to her and Danners, that they – and all the Jeep women – must work together if any part of them is to survive. The book is beautifully written, with very vivid descriptions. When Marghe is trapped in a blizzard, you shiver and freeze along with her. As Marghe recovers from the virus, her senses are opened, and at the same time mixed up in what could be described as synathesia: “Outside something sang, a long call that started out yellow, dipped in the middle to blue, then rose to scintillating gold and orange, as though the caller had decided that it was not, after all, sad.” This is not ‘Chick-Lit’, and is not necessarily aimed at readers identifying as female. This is seriously good SciFi/Fantasy that has human beings at its heart, and will appeal to all who love speculative fiction. Highly recommended

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