The discovery ship, Creative Fire, is on its way home from a multi-generational journey. But home is nothing like the crew expected. They have been gone for generations, and the system they return to is home to technologies and riches beyond their wildest dreams. But they are immediately oppressed and relegated to the lowest status imaginable, barely able to interact with the technologies and people of the star station where they dock, the Diamond Deep.
Ruby Martin and her partner, Joel North, must find a way to learn what they need to know and to become more than they have ever been if they are to find a way to save their people.
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THE DIAMOND DEEP
By BRENDA COOPER
Prometheus BooksCopyright © 2013 Brenda Cooper
All rights reserved.
Ruby sat on the edge of the bed, as silent and still as possible. Now, more than ever before, she felt all of the generations that had been born and died in The Creative Fire. Their work, their hope, their dreams, and their pain seemed to float around Ruby like a fog of intent.
Joel's quiet breath filled the room, punctuated with the creaks and groans of the great ship around her, the sigh of machinery that filled the space inside with air and delivered water to grow food, to drink, and to clean. Living so near the center not only sounded different, but it felt different; as if the entire mass of The Creative Fire centered here on Joel's room.
On their room. It was their room, and she would stay in it. She would share his power, and she would do it well. She had earned it. She would find a way to fit here.
Beside her, Joel rolled over and stretched. She put a hand on his shoulder, kneading softly to work at his stiff muscles. As her fingers worked, Joel's breath lost the even rhythm of sleep.
He pushed himself up on his elbow. "You might as well be pacing."
"I can feel the ship around me. At home," she gestured outward, toward the working habitats, "at home there would be robots going by and children laughing and bells for shift change."
"Isn't your home here now?"
"Of course." The tone of her whisper was a caress to match the hand that trailed along his back. "You worked out hard yesterday."
"Winning has given me more enemies." He touched her hair, stroking it. "You have them, too. You should start working with KJ again. It's been five weeks since the last actual fighting. Get back into routines. I'll send two guards with you."
Ruby laughed. "No guards."
He turned her face toward his. "It's not a request. You don't know who hates you yet. It's a risk of being with me."
"I'll take friends. Like Ani and Dayn."
"Good thing there isn't a stubborn bone in your body."
"Or yours." She fell back onto the bed against him. "Ix!"
"Yes, Ruby." The ship's AI chose a soft female voice.
"Bring up the Adiamo system." She loved having a display in the bedroom. A luxurious manifestation of Joel's power as captain of The Creative Fire. The screen sprang to life, presenting a view of a single brilliant sun with two gas giants, and cradled between, two inhabited planets. Tiny lights blinked for the orbiting space stations. "Is that real yet?" she asked Ix.
"It's still the game view. I can see the sun, Adiamo, but we aren't close enough for the cameras to pick up planets or stations."
She frowned and whispered into Joel's ear. "What are we going to find there?"
One hand roamed her torso. "Our home."
She closed her eyes. Change. She loved change, she had made change, created it with all of her being.
So why did she feel so unprepared?
Excerpted from THE DIAMOND DEEP by BRENDA COOPER. Copyright © 2013 Brenda Cooper. Excerpted by permission of Prometheus Books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'd have a lot more faith in the so-called "professional" reviews if the reviewer actually knew enough about it to get the series order correct. Diamond Deep is actually the FIRST book in the series and Creative Fire is the second. While not necessarily Pulitzer material, Diamond Deep is a satisfying space opera with fun characters; especially a good female protagonist