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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
In Nimisha's Ship, the first novel in an engaging new series from the bestselling author of the immensely popular Dragonriders of Pern books, Anne McCaffrey once again offers her legions of fans a well-proportioned fusion of epic struggle, science fantasy, and mythical action-adventure, all layered upon a well-wrought foundation of human courage and contemptible characters.
Lady Nimisha Boynton-Rondymense, as body-heir to Lady Rezalla, is a member of the First Family of Vega III. Close-knit families, as such, are unknown in this high society, where members of royalty contract together to have children and for joint wealth and historical lineage. As daughter to the brilliant starship designer Lord Tionel, owner of the distinguished Rondymense Ship Yard, Nimisha naturally takes to the technological sciences. From an early age Nimisha excels at mechanics and eventually, with her bodyguard attendant Jeska, becomes the principal assistant to Lord Tionel as he experiments with new and more powerful vessels. When Tionel dies in a freak space accident, Nimisha takes a controlling interest in the shipyard and continues improving space vehicles to such a degree that the Vegan Navy offers its services and begins to work with her.
However, Lord Tionel's body-heir, the loutish Lord Vestrin, seeks to overrule Tionel's will in an effort to inherit the shipyard for himself. After losing the legal battle, though, Vestrin vanishes in a blur of self-destructive activity while Nimisha continues to enhance existing starship designs, her genius furthering the course of space travel. Whileexperimenting with a new ship, Nimisha discovers herself lost inside a wormhole that strands her light-years off course. After spending a year in stasis in the hope that search parties would rescue her, Nimisha eventually lands on an alien planet full of dangerous life-forms. The ship -- containing three separate AI personalities -- is her only companion until she eventually stumbles upon the survivors from another lost spacecraft. While Nimisha and her companions attempt to survive in an increasingly hostile environment, Lord Vestrin plots against Nimisha's body-heir, the young Cuiva, in an attempt to take over the Rondymense holdings at any cost.
McCaffrey is highly skilled at sustaining several intertwined subtexts at once: We are witness to a culture that is superior at high-tech space voyaging but adheres to ancient rituals, ceremonies, and customs of propriety. McCaffrey does a remarkable job of filling in all pertinent information without falling upon lengthy exposition. Her narrative style is succinct but never lacking. The reader will discover two vastly different worlds: one comprising modest decorum and formality, and another filled with all the primordial dangers of the jungle, and worse. The author always manages to fill in the landscape with luxuriant detail, convincing dangers, and suspenseful circumstances. Sociological situations underpinning science-fantasy adventure have always been McCaffrey's forte, and this series admirably continues that tradition.