From Publishers Weekly
Harris (Accidental Creatures) makes questing for the inner goddess look like child's play in this intriguing but sometimes uneasy mix of SF, romance and feminist fantasy rooted in ancient Sumerian myth. In the first of three "books," a young Semite slave/priestess, Shula, serves the demanding goddess Ananna, but she prefers a rival goddess, the more balanced, dark-winged maiden, Belili-Lit. Book two flashes forward to depict Shula's contemporary teen counterpart, Wendy Chrenko, who also has a mystical encounter with a dark-winged girl, whom she calls Lili. Wendy falls in love with Ray Mackie, an artistic boy from a dysfunctional family, but tensions mount after Ray becomes an identity thief and Wendy discovers feminism in college. The last section shakily integrates the two worlds via a human/computer interface experiment, which Wendy, determined to find proof of a prehistoric matriarchy, undergoes after her dissertation is rejected. Harris complicates the rushed ending with the return of a reformed Ray who attempts to "rescue" Wendy. If the implausible feel-good epilogue leaves some readers scratching their heads, Harris demonstrates that the time for the sexes to search for common ground is always now.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Shula is a slave in ancient Sumeria who becomes a priestess of the goddess Inanna when she participates in a miracle that returns sacred birds to a temple rite. Wendy is in middle school, though for most of the story she is a modern graduate student recovering from a failed relationship and a victim of a conservative anthropology department uninterested in feminist scholarship. She wants to prove the existence of an ancient matriarchal society rooted in the myths referred to as old by the Sumerian myth cycles, and to do so engages in a dangerous experiment in virtual reality computing. Shula, trapped in the stories of Sumerian legend, and Wendy, seeking proof of a matriarchy, are brought together when it becomes clear that Shula is an element in Wendy's simulation--though it isn't quite that simple, of course. In wrestling with the feminist issues of Wendy's dissertation, Harris occasionally skirts preachiness, but she redeems herself nicely with a satisfying, if somewhat romantic, ending. Regina SchroederCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved