Monday, October 31, 2005

The World Before by Karen Traviss

This is the third novel set in the Cavanagh’s Star system and continues the story from books one and two. The World Before refers to the arrival of wess’har from the home world, the world that the wess’har had left behind over philosophical differences. It would be quite correct to view the arrival of wess’har from Eqbas Vorhi as the arrival of a sixth sentient race in the system. Ms Traviss has crafted these new arrivals in such a way that they are and are not wess’har. A delicate line that she has tread with a sure sense of balance.

The wess’har from Eqbas Vorhi were called in by the wess’har of wess’je because they needed help in dealing with the actions of the humans in using nuclear weapons on the planet of Bezer’ej and apparently causing the extinction of the inhabitants of the planet. The Isenj, who had allied themselves with the Humans and appear to share a great deal in common with the way humans act and react, treat the new wess’har arrivals as they would those they shared the star system with and quickly find out they are different.

In the Isenj reaction we may be seeing the foreshadowing of the events that will unfold upon earth when the Eqbas wess’har arrive to punish those responsible for the use of nuclear weapons. Oh yes, and to restore the earth ecological system using the gene bank. I certainly hope we will get to read all about that! As I expected Shan Frankland did survive, but the how made it a very interesting story to read. I give Ms Traviss full marks for her imagination and writing in putting this event to paper.

So, interesting aliens, characters, events, hints at future storylines and excellent writing. Based on this I have requested the Star Wars novel she has written from my local library. This will be the first Star Wars novel I have read. Making clear, one would hope, that I recommend this novel to be read (PS it has me seriously thinking about going back to re-read city of Pearl). Oh, and yes I am glad I had this novel on my list of novels I was looking forward to.


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