February 22nd, 2005, 06:13 AM
I just finished the book and I relly liked it. I don't have much to add to what has been said before.
What I found unbelievable was the caanat (spelled wrong?). I don't think that gene transfer between species that evolved totally independantly from one another is possible (with yielding functional gene products). The reason is, that even if the aliens use the same genetic code as we do, this still makes it highly improbable that the identical sequence bits always code for the same aminoacids in humans and wess'har.
The idea of having only corporation owned crops left in the future is pretty scary, but I can see how that might happen.
I'm really curious to see what will happen next.
February 22nd, 2005, 10:58 AM
I was reading the brief author bio at the back of the book and I noticed that Ms. Traviss was a journalist and was closely involved in the Royal Marines (although I forget now if she was enlisted at one pont or embedded as a reporter at one point or both). Do you think that these personal experiences influenced the very sympathetic portrayals of the military characters and the journalist, particularly when combined with the portrayals of the scientists as unethical idiots?
I wonder if she had any direct experiences with people like the religious settlers that influenced that portrayal as well?
Let me just say that if personal experience makes one more sympathetic to various characters that I hope she spends some time hanging around some research labs before writing too many more books in this series. (Although I'm sure I'm going to end up reading "Crossing the Line" before the end of the year. Shan really is a great character and I want to know what happens to her.)
February 22nd, 2005, 11:26 AM
\m/ BEER \m/
I think it is impossible for anybody's life expereinces to NOT leave an indellible mark on what they write. I think aside from the one scientist who killed the alien, all of the characters are painted if not sympathetically, empathetically. When each character is on screen, Traviss makes you want to believe them. As impressed as I was with her characterization skills in City of Pearl Ms. Traviss' skills grow in the next volume.
Originally Posted by Archren
Did anybody get an Octavia Butler/Xenogenesis vibe from the book?
April 8th, 2007, 05:19 PM
Well, you never know. I read David Brin's award-winning Startide Rising, expecting to be blown away, only to come away disappointed. And then I picked up Karen Traviss's City of Pearl, not expecting much from a first-time effort, only to end up more than pleasantly surprised by what turned out to be a deftly written novel peopled by very richly detailed, very believable characters. I thought Traviss did a wonderful job of conveying her "message" in a subtle and entertaining manner, and did see some elements of the story (ie. the various corporations control of seed licensing) as very scary and very possible developments of contemporary corporate strategy.
My two problems I had with the novel stemmed from what I felt were narrative contrivances. Unlike some, I didn't like the delayed memory. Logically, what purpose did it serve other than to allow the author to hold back on information until it could better serve the plot? In much the same way, I had to wonder why Aras didn't tell Shan he had infected her from the moment she woke up? Why keep it from her as she would find out sooner or later? Again, it felt like a contrivance designed to hold back information until it could be later released for a more effective impact.
Still, lots and lots to like in this novel. I'll definitely be picking up the sequel.
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