This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Series: Chronicle of the Sibyl’s War #1
Author: Timothy Zahn
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
19 year old alcoholic Nicole is on her own, living on the streets, moving from one gang to another to survive. Her latest leader, Bungie shows up one morning shot and he forces Nicole to take him to the nearest VA hospital where he kidnaps a doctor in the parking lot. Suddenly, all 3 are approached by tall silvery beings and fall into unconsciousness.
Nicole wakes up and finds out they have been kidnapped by aliens. They all have jobs at keeping the ship repaired but not all is as it seems. Bungie wants off the ship and runs away. Nicole finds an Arena where other species are fighting each other for food while the humans have more than enough. The beings instigating the fighting are the apparent rulers of the ship, but as more is revealed, Nicole realizes that absolutely nothing is what it appears to be.
The ship is a sentient being and something caused it to split into multiple personalities long ago. The humans repair is aimed at restoring unity while the “ship masters” are controlled by another segment of the ship.
Nicole is a Sibyl, one that can talk with the ship through the use of drugs. The drugs have the side affect of reducing her life span to about a year though. Nicole defies the ship masters and brings what peace she can between the species in the Arena. This gets her an audience with the ship itself and the book ends with Nicole planning out how she can restore the ship to its full mind.
This was a decent read but no more. Nicole had been so beaten down by life and by her extremely bad choices that she just wants to put her head down and survive. This was a coming of responsibility story instead of a story about an already responsible person. I always have a hard time with those kind of stories.
The next book in this series comes out in 2019 and I highly doubt I’ll read it. Nothing about this book gave me that zing, that pizazz that I had with Zahn’s books back in the day. I think that it is more about me changing than Zahn as an author. I am done with Star Wars so his SW books don’t tempt me and his last couple of non-SW books have been ok but nothing special. This leads me to conclude that I am pretty much done with Zahn and that just saddens me.
From the age of 16-21 I almost literally ate his books. They were the guiding lights by which I judged all others. He was the gold standard. And now? My tastes have changed; gold isn’t so attractive, I want juicy fruit and seared steaks. Now I’m sad 😦