When it comes to sheer imagination and storytelling prowess, Anne McCaffrey is in a class by herself. Few writers have created characters more deeply loved or futures more intensely lived. For more than thirty years, she has reigned as one of the premier talents in science fiction and fantasy, flying above the crowd on the glittering wings of such masterworks as The Dragonriders of Pern and Crystal Singer. Now, McCaffrey soars to dizzying unscaled heights in an exciting new world bursting with adventure and romance . . . On Vega III, where the jaded inhabitants pursue lives of malicious intrigue and decadent pleasure, Lady Nimisha Boynton-Rondymense has always been an anomaly. Disdainful of the frivolity of her fellows, she prefers the exciting and challenging world of her father, Lord Tionel, owner and principal starship designer of the famous Rondymense shipyards. Precociously gifted, Nimisha becomes Lord Tionel's secret assistant--and, in the aftermath of a shocking tragedy, his chosen successor at the helm of the shipyards.
The magic of McCaffrey's alien planetscapes and exotic space creatures, familiar from such novels as Dragonriders of Pern, is absent from this flimsily SF-clad romance, set on luxurious Vega III centuries into human galactic domination. Upon Lord Tionel's death, his precocious genius daughter, Lady Nimisha Boynton-Rondymense, takes charge of his famous shipyard and test-flies his cherished Mark V space yacht straight into an unexpected wormhole that flings her onto an unknown planet. While bearing five children in three years to Jonagren Svangel, a conveniently also-stranded hunk, Nimisha spunkily triumphs in one maudlin adventure after another, but she finally dissolves into a postpartum "leaky ula-ooli-la" when located by a previous lover and her own adolescent body-heir, Cuiva. Not even Nimisha's inexhaustible supply of hooting alien babysitters and Star Trek-like cybernetic shipmates Helm, Doc and Cater can compensate for the vapidly predictable teeny-bopper plot and cellophane-thin characterizations there's not one redeemingly vicious villain that bloat this lost-in-space operetta, a leaky ula-ooli-la if ever there was one. Science Fiction Book Club main selection. (Feb.) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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January 03, 2000
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