McCaffrey continues to develop her brainship concept, with a new collaborator this time, the one who worked with her on The Death of Sleep (1990). The brainship Carialle and her brawn, Keff, find a habitable planet inhabited by an apparent mix of races and cultures and dominated by an elite of apparent magicians. Appearances are deceiving, however, and by the time the explorers have discovered the planet's secrets--not to mention other intelligent races--they find themselves in a desperate battle to save it. Knowing McCaffrey's background in space adventure and Nye's in humorous fantasy, you can tell whose influence is uppermost in certain passages, but ultimately the two blend their skills effectively to produce a brisk, well-told, often amusing tale that does not strive to do more than entertain but does so admirably. Fans of either author, or both, will have fun with this book. Roland Green
From Kirkus Reviews
A new entry in McCaffrey's Brain/Brawn series begun with The Ship Who Sang (1969) and continued by McCaffrey with various collaborators. The Brain here is Carialle, a bodiless human wired into spaceship SSS-900; the Brawn is supplied by Carialle's human partner, Keff. Explorers Carialle and Keff hope to achieve alien contact. Unfortunately, they also need to make discoveries that generate money and kudos: Cencom might not renew their contract, since a prior unpleasant experience has left Carialle psychologically vulnerable to bureaucratic shutdown. On the chilly planet Ozran they discover a population of furry humanoids ruled by irascible and arrogant ``wizards'' wielding what apparently are magic powers. The wizards take Keff captive but do not immediately learn of Carialle's existence. Keff is aided by Plennafrey, a young, beautiful, and rebellious wizard, and the more powerful Chaumel, who is at least willing to listen. Carialle, you see, has discovered that the source of the wizards' power is a projector called the core of Ozran, set up ages ago by one of two long- vanished, advanced alien races. The Core was designed to function as a weather control device, and in using it to power their magic, the wizards have doomed the planet to a slow, cold extinction. Only after Carialle reveals that the ubiquitous globe-frogs are actually the previous masters of Ozran, and that they are willing to help once the wizards cease their bickering, are the wizards persuaded to mend their ways. Bright and bubbly entertainment, though, despite the adult content, decidedly juvenile in style and tone; therefore more likely to appeal to the younger sections of McCaffrey's audience. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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