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Testament Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; First Edition edition (August 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451454596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451454591
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,939,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In her second novel, Freireich returns to the deftly imagined human-colonized worlds that helped make Becoming Human a success. In the Polite Harmony of Worlds, Testament is a small planet isolated by a quarantine of its genetically modified Altereds, each of whom embodies the memories and personalities of significant ancestors of one or another of Testament's clans. Desperate to explore the other Harmony worlds, non-Altered human Gray Bridger discovers that his politically connected grandmother has bound him to the quarantine's rules by arranging his marriage to an Altered, a beautiful woman with no identity apart from those of the predecessors she embodies. Abandoning his initial plan simply to kill her, Gray is increasingly attracted to her dominant personality, who agrees to help him escape Testament. Freireich's command of characterization and her masterfully rich portrayal of the Polite Harmony's complex mixture of cultures already make her small body of work an important contribution to contemporary science fiction. Carl Hays

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 26, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The central idea of this SF novel is an interesting one, perhaps describable as a sociological-SF reprise of Frank Herbert's Bene Gesserit (a debt which the author acknowledges with several homages).
However, though it was nice to see an author concentrating on characters and their reactions, I found the people in this book unbelievable. Sometimes they overreacted; sometimes they underreacted. Sometimes they were trying to kill each other one second and having a calm conversation the next. There didn't seem to be anything in the setting's sociology to cause this, and I ended up lost and unsure what character plots and motivations were.
The plot here is small, with the characters spending large amounts of energy and general going back and forth to attain limited goals. That's a good thing, in most respects. However, the "real plot" was revealed so slowly that I spent much of the book confused as to what was actually going on, and found myself losing interest.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ms. Freireich has accomplished what science fiction was meant to do.... Provide a framework for a dramatic thought experiment on how changing ourselves will impact our progeny. If we are no longer "normal," are we still human? To narrate this tale she has given us a throwback, a person who shares our single perspective without the benefit to a thousand years of memories. Gray is a person we can all empathize with. Finally, she uses the science as a framework to present her tale about people, developing her characters fully, unlike many contemporary writers whose tales are an endless parade of technological dazzle that is unbelievable under close scrutiny. READ IT!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Even more welcome than an engaging, well-written science fiction novel is a depiction of matriarchy that neither resorts to stereotype or to a happy happy, head-in-the-clouds, we're-better-than-they-are misandrony. Though not as good as her first novel [ Becoming Human, to which Testament is an unofficial "sequel" ], Freireich has a skill for plot that makes all of her stories a real joy to read.
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