Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fire Season-David Weber and Jane Lindskold

Fire Season

David Weber and Jane Lindskold

Baen, Oct 2 2012, $18.99

ISBN: 9781451638400

Teenager Stephanie Harrington was euphoric when she obtained an internship in the junior forestry program on Meyerdahl. However, she became depressed when her family including her relocated to Sphinx, which had no such program. The seventeen-month winter and her boring peers at the Two Forks School are uninterested in her passion xeno-biology which adds to her despondency. Stephanie investigated the stealing of celery. That led to her meeting and bonding with Climbs Quickly the treecat. The Chief Forester named her and her only human friend Karl Zivonik is a provisional forest ranger (see A Beautiful Friendship).

Stephanie persuades Karl to allow her to use his family's aircar to practice flying. As the provisional forest rangers and Climbs Quickly fly, the treecat smells smoke. They inspect the fire and rescue twin treecats Left-striped and Right-striped who they bring to her father, a veterinarian.

Xenoanthropologist Dr. Whittaker arrives from Urako with his team and his son Anders to study the treecats. He distrusts the government including the Sphinxian Forestry Service to put the interests of the native population above those of the humans. Thus he leads his unit on an exploration of an abandoned clan site only to have their air-vehicle sink into the ground leaving them stranded while struggling to survive as forest fires ignites.

The second Stephanie Harrington Star Kingdom young adult science fiction thriller is a superb prequel to the Honor Harrington saga. The key cast is fully developed regardless of species or national origin. The storyline is great when the focus is on the interactions between the two species or the exploration of the planet; however, the teen relationships seem stereotypical. Still fans will enjoy exploring Sphinx with Harrington as our guide.

Harriet Klausner

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