- Hardcover: 286 pages
- Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC (March 1, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1944591338
- ISBN-13: 978-1944591335
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,313,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Surrogate Hardcover – March 1, 2017
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Jeanne G'Feller's debut science fiction novel, No Sister of Mine, was awarded a Golden Crown Literary Society "Goldie" award and was a Lambda Literary Foundation "Lammy" finalist. Her follow-up, Sister Lost, Sister Found, also won the "Goldie" and the third book, Sisters' Flight, was a Finalist. Now she branches out with a new heroine who will change the course of several worlds, whether she wants to or not.
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I prefer books that take me right into the thick of things. I don't need pages of explanatory text or for each new discovery (technology, political system, social mechanics) to be given the same weight as character development. It was easy enough to understand Etain's home world as well as the world in which she ends up without all that. Of much more interest were the intricacies of her various relationships to other beings.
Roughly the first half or a bit more is devoted to Etain acclimating to her new surroundings. This includes the development of her romantic, sexual, and friend relationships. Although there is some tension with the insects she's unintentionally brought with her from her home world, this is largely more interpersonal and character development. The second half has much more of the action and political intrigue. I liked the contrast.
During the relationship-building stage, I appreciated the differences in how Etain views things compared to the others. I loved how each of their personalities comes into play as they all learn what Etain needs from them. There's no descriptive sex, but there's plenty of sensuality that ranges from delightfully playful to soft and tender. The characters are creating a life with each other, and although we only see through Etain's eyes, we still get a sense of the feelings of the people she's with.
The characters are all well-drawn and three-dimensional, even the villains. I think Dresh might be my favorite, but it would be a challenge to explain why without spoilers. Userer Serria is a terrific Big Bad, and I love the way the story arc ends (or rather, doesn't quite). It will be exciting to see what happens in the next installment.
All of the things I loved about this (single point of view, lots of character development, world-building throughout the story, cliffhangers) are things that other readers may enjoy less. However, the writing style is excellent, and those elements all come together well to weave an outstanding tale. I'm looking forward to the next part of the series.
For wonderful characters, just the right amount of world-building, and a gripping story, this gets 5 stars.