Lush landscapes and eerily beautiful quasi-human “fliers” don't quite compensate for a thin plot and jolting narrative shifts in the breathless sequel to 2008's The Silver Ship and the Sea. Biologically engineered Chelo Lee was cast out of the colony planet Fremont by her family and saved by her brother, Joseph, a pilot and “Wind Reader” who can create new human beings. She and Joseph now join their extended family on Lopali, which is considering entering a war against Islas, which opposes interference with divine prerogatives. Romantic entanglements hamper Joseph's efforts to help the local sterile fliers to reproduce and outwit rebel fliers' plots, all couched in adolescent cheekiness that dilutes Cooper's antiwar theme. Young adults may find this us-against-the-worlds excursion exciting, but more mature readers will growl with Joseph's dog, Sasha, who's rightly suspicious of oversimplifications. (Nov.)
Joseph and his extended family have escaped the colony planet Fremont where their powers as genetically altered humans have made them essential and mistrusted. Wanted by Fremont authorities, they seek safety on the peaceful planet Lopali, where genetically altered humans can fly but have lost their ability to reproduce naturally. First introduced in The Silver Ship and the Sea, a book marketed for the YA audience, these compelling characters have matured and face adult situations like trying to raise children in an atmosphere fraught with suspicion and danger. VERDICT A fascinating culture of winged humans with exotic customs and strange alliances adds extra depth to a novel that is suitable for mature YAs as well as adult readers.
Distinctive characterizations, well-limned interrelationships, and the vivdly realized Fremont contribute to an exciting coming-of-age story with a strong message about the evils of prejudice… YAs are sure to relate to the travails and exploits of these extraordinary young people.” Booklist on The Silver Ship and the Sea (starred review)
“Fast-paced and full-bodied, The Silver Ship and the Sea is character-driven hard SF at its best.” The Seattle Times