Awe-Struck E-Books, June 2003
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood
An ore-processing plant has broken down, and
Gael and Kat, representatives of rival companies who monitor planetary
ecology, are sent to the planet R-12 to investigate. Like all other
planets with ore-processors on them, R-12 has been completely destroyed,
down to the last blade of grass, body of water, and breath of clean air.
The relationship between Gael and Kat has the potential to be just as
Our heroine, Gael, establishes in the first few pages that she has a
hostile personality, with poor priorities and poorer judgment. It is
apparent to the reader that Kat, a man with "anti-authority problems,"
will be the one in the right in any disagreement. Kat is Rian, a species
with strong telepathy, and Kat is one of the strongest. Gael shudders in
horror at the thought of a telepath. It isnít until the book explains what
is behind Gaelís anger and fear that it becomes possible for me as a
reader to co-exist with her and focus my attention on the problem at hand.
Human civilization has a policy that prohibits any ore processing on
inhabited planets, so someone is determined R-12 shall stay dead. In spite
of recent signs of life.
With the exception of Gael, who cocoons herself away from all the
potential horrors of a life she doesnít want to know she is afraid of; and
Kat, who could double for an archangel on sentry duty, most of the people
are stock characters. Special cases are Gailís coordinator Menor, who
flings himself wholeheartedly into caricature once early in the book and
retains the residue thereafter; and Captain Amato of the Guardsman ship,
who radiates all the charm of a crawdad poking its head out of algae
sludge. The general lack of character depth is the main reason I found
CHRYSALIS hard to get into. The situation is interesting, however, and the
relationship between Gael and Kat snaps as unpredictably as frying oil.
The authors are drawing a parallel to the effects of irresponsible
industry on our planet. Reading the description of what human galactic
civilization has done to R-12, I was irresistibly reminded of what the
"locust" alien invaders of "Independence Day" intended to do to Earth. I
expect thatís very much in line with what the authors intend for us to
I like books about telepaths, so Katís telepathy was the element that drew
me. CHRYSALIS will also be enjoyed by people who feel strongly about
environmental issues. Donít choose this book for its literary quality, but
it will appeal to specialty interests.
June 2003 Review Originally Published on WOR
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