Praise for Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
“Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough collaborate seamlessly to tell a first-rate sf adventure with strong male and female protagonists and a life-affirming theme.”
–Library Journal, on Power Lines
“Well-handled far-future speculation on ecological engineering and planetary consciousness . . . agreeably colorful, well-realized adventure.”
–Kirkus Reviews, on Powers That Be
“May be the riveting saga’s most exciting episode yet. . . . The writing and characterization as well as the infusions of Celtic and Inuit lore remain of high quality.”
–Booklist, on Power Play
Those familiar with McCaffrey and Scarborough's first SF trilogy about life on the sentient planet Petaybee will best appreciate this solid start of a new series, which picks up where Power Play (1995) left off. Murel and Ronan, the precocious twins born to Maj. Yanaba Maddock-Shongili, administrator of Petaybee, and geneticist/selkie Dr. Sean Shongili, lead an idyllic, if frigid, life on the icy planet for their first eight years. Protected by their snow leopard and track-cat nannies, they change into seals, play with otters and telepathically communicate with each other and the fauna. When it appears their abilities have aroused the sinister interest of off-world scientists, they're sent to live on a space station with a family friend. Fast-paced adventure follows as the twins thwart their enemies and further deal with their selkie natures. Flat characterization, anthropomorphic animals, sentimentality and simplistic takes on various cultures (including Inuit, Irish and Hawaiian) make this novel best suited for those with a taste for less-sophisticated SF. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Twin brother and sister Ronan Born for Water Shongili and Murel Monster Slayer Shongili are selkies who can communicate with their sentient birth world, Petaybee. When a visiting scientist observes them transforming, their parents send them to a space station for safety. Following the children to the station, the scientist uses her grandson, their playmate, to gain their confidence so that she can study their shape shifting. The story's pace accelerates as the twins elude capture and set out to rescue their selkie father from an undersea volcano on the planet's surface. This first book in The Twins of Petaybee trilogy continues to chronicle the awakening sentient planet Petaybee and its settlers, who are trying to keep its natural resources from being exploited, that appeared in the Powers trilogy. By focusing on the twins born to Major Yanaba Maddock and geneticist Dr. Sean Shongili, the authors offer protagonists who will mature as the series continues, making it ideal for young adult fans. The treatment of nonhuman characters and assorted cultures is very simplistic, but the trilogy functions well as uncomplicated fast-paced adventure, making it suitable for junior as well as senior high readers. The book is a recommended purchase for junior and senior high libraries. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2006, Del Rey, 288p., Ages 11 to Adult.
First in a trilogy spun off from previous books about the sentient planet Petaybee (Power Lines, 1994, etc.), following the adventures of a pair of adorably inquisitive twins. With their formula down pat, the authors don't waste time getting readers excited with dangerous thrills or much of a plot. Instead, the narrative putters along inside the cozy icebound settlement of Kilcoole, where the Irish-Eskimo townsfolk have adapted quite well to their bone-chilling climate and created a few charming customs (shared with us in lengthy detail). The promising premise of the planet that thinks and does for itself is mostly frittered away here in a series of obviously padded non-events and a utopian mindset so starry-eyed that even Ursula K. Le Guin would find it naive. The twins themselves-Murel and Ronan, born to Yana and Sean of the previous trilogy-are an interesting pair with a neat quirk: They can change into a seal's form in water. After getting into a minor scrape involving poachers of the planet's cute telekinetic otters (unauthorized people looking to do harm are always landing on Petaybee), the twins are sent off to school on a space station to examine information that will help them understand the volcano that's threatening to become active back home. A less-than-thrilling subplot involving a scientist with bad intentions occupies some, but not enough, of the time on the space station before the book rattles to a close. A waste of time for any audience other than young adults.