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Denise Lopes Heald
book cover

Who recommends: JW, Kathleen, Barbara, Rebekah
Who discommends: Preeti, Linda, Lynn

I read this recently after seeing it on this list and coming across a copy by chance. I liked the jungle-world setting, although some more explanation of "botafab" technology would have been helpful, and the characters intrigued me.--Kathleen

Oh, yeah, and I actually read a SF/ROM. I've let it sit for about a week. Okay, recommend MISTWALKER by Denise Lopes Heald. It took a week because it's fairly long and I had to let it sit to think about some of the things I disliked.

Basic premise is planet that we want to keep without technology - for several good reasons.

- things corrode, grow fungus and deteriorate quickly
- the planet doesn't like foreign things

Ooooh, good reasons. But we have the basic greenies, colonizers who want to keep the planet natural and then the recent newbie imports, who want some civilization. And she's a greenie and he's a newbie - with a twist. So basic plot set-up just like romantic fiction of fighting who they are, not boy-meets-girl/fails-to-talk/great-reconciliation.

She hires him to help her haul freight and thereafter we spend a very long time in the jungle, or whatever - learning about each other and more about the planet - all the while weaving a fairly intricate plot that gets exposed just a bit at a time.

And they fall in love about halfway into the book - but she knows she can never live off planet and he is still being peeled open for our perusal - so we don't know exactly what's going on. And there are the Mistwalkers, wraith-like things that can kill you if you run, but seem to like him - more than the greenies.

I didn't particularly like the over-emphasis on the fairly well drawn planet ecology. Thinking of the story evolution, perhaps it was necessary but I would have put in a few less words about the planet and let the action carry the story.

It has a HEA and actually is the last thing to be resolved - entwined in the planet ecology and story as it was.--Barbara (07 Feb 00)

Looks like others have detailed the plot of MISTWALKER so I'll just give my thoughts. I liked it, found it engrossing and unusual. The whole book has a very strong atmosphere and sense of place. The people really seemed a part of the world, not just some standard default colonists. MISTWALKER ended with a lot of issues/conspiracies/subplots unexplained but I just sort of shrugged my shoulders like the heroine did. Her pragmatic, survival-oriented attitude must have seeped through.

One thing that bugged me--the hero and heroine sure spend a lot of their time seriously ill or gravely injured. It became hard to believe they could ever walk let alone fight off invasions and such. On the other hand, in many romances you can't figure out what the h/h see in each other, but I could see it here. She is the first person to be (relatively) kind to him and gives him a chance (though grudging) to explain and prove himself. He is attractive, hard-working, with impressive survival ability and sincerely cares about her hard-to-love planet. MISTWALKER could use a sequel but wraps things up well enough.--Rebekah (15 Jan 05)

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