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The Marann: Tales of Tolari Space (Volume 1) Paperback – November 5, 2012
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Liked how the tech remained secondary to the story, any not getting deep into trying to explain origins of the "natives".
I loved Marianne. She seemed completely authentic, in character and her struggles to adapt to her new environment and cultural environment. I also loved the hero and his daughter, and even the Ambassador's wife. Characters, plot, slow development of romance, suspense, mystery - I enjoyed every minute of it.
I wanted to comment on the following issue because other reviewer's wrote about the seeming infidelity of the hero, which is actually part of the culture.
The culture has disconnected the notion of marriage from the parentage of children. Illegitimacy has no meaning. A man or woman asks another person to help make a child based on genetic advantage to the child.
Population growth is controlled - people replace themselves (i.e. have an heir). A woman bears her own heir (replacement) and may bear her husband's or another male's heir also. A man's heir (replacement) may be born by a woman outside of the relationship, yet raised in their home. Marianne objects, naturally, to her mate's siring children for other women. I am interested in seeing how the couple resolve this issue in the next book.
The first thing is pretty small, but it still bugs me. The opening makes a point of how Marianne is a daily runner. She's got an "athletic figure" because she runs. It's an important part of her personal history. But after the beginning? It's never, ever mentioned again. No discussion of how she runs or even exercises on Tolar.
Ignoring what was seemingly set up to cause some interesting interactions (where would she be allowed to run? would she be allowed to run alone? if not would she befriend those guarding her? would she meet locals when she ran and how would that go?) really annoyed me even though it didn't actually detract from the story.
[NOTE: some spoilers below here]
The second thing that seemed weird to me because shortly before I read The Marann, I read Meierz's post discussing the women of the Liaden Universe (http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2015...).
In that article she discusses how nice it was to read female characters that weren't stuck in the traditional "princess waiting to be rescued" mold. But Marianne seems pretty close to that. Yes, she's "brave" to leave her past behind (both literally and figuratively in the move to Tolar) and she faces most obstacles with courage. But under it all she's an injured female who needs a man to heal her damaged psyche and a transition to another race to heal her damaged body.
I'm not usually offended by this type of traditional storyline (it's a book, I can look past that if it's a good story and the women aren't totally helpless), but it seemed so weird to have this direct contradiction between her post and the plot of her book.
This woman's life on a whim because of her abilities just stinks of corruption. I loved how the romance fleshed out slowly, without seeming slow (I don't know if that makes sence) lol. I mean 8 years is a long long time. I'm glad they got their HEA. I will read the next book for sure! Great job creating a new world and culture but I would like her to have a child of her own too!
At first the book caught my attention with all the descriptions of the new technology, and i was expecting to at least see the main character interact with these new species. but when Marianne got into the planet the story changed to one of romance and a poor one for that matter.
It almost felt like i was reading one this twentieth century books and not the fantasy book I was expecting.
At the end of the book it felt as the author was trying to rush things and conversations didnt go accord with the moment.
I don't think I would read the next book though.