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08/28/2003 Entry: "S.L. Viehl's BLADE DANCER"

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Like Shelley, I thought BLADE DANCER was pretty good. I didn't expect much from the book, perhaps because of the cover. (Is it meant to draw in more male readers?) The story inside was immediately engaging, though. A one-sitting read. S.L. Viehl, as usual, keeps you on your toes by peppering the story with surprise revelations. "You think you know? You don't know."

Jory is a professional athlete summarily exiled from xenophobic Terra when she's discovered to be only half-human. She and her sh*t-eating attitude hit outer space. Her immediate goal is to track down the other half-breeds--like her--born to a group of Jorenian women who'd been kidnapped and sold as slaves a couple of dozen years ago.

She finds all of them still living on the planet Joren, but only one is half-human/half-Jorenian like her. (And how neat, he's a gorgeous male! But...do they share the same father? Oh, the delicious angst.) The rest are almost like a group of comic book superheroes--one is winged, one is a crystalline telepath/telekinetic, one gives off electrical shocks, etc. These so-called Children of Honor have had enough of being second-class citizens on Joren. They throw their lot in with Jory in order to avenge their mothers and improve their social status.... Jory is the key to her adopted siblings overcoming past wounds and growing closer together as a family. Well, except for Kol. There's more than brotherly love developing in that direction.

The plot perhaps couldn't bear too much scrutiny, and things are resolved perhaps too tidily, but the story was fun and emotionally satisfying enough to recommend.--Preeti

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