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Migration: Species Imperative #2 by Julie E. Czerneda
Review by Madeleine Yeh
Daw Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0756402603
Date: May, 2005 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

This is the second book in the Species Imperative series. The Dhryn are attacking inhabited planets at random, leaving nothing alive. No one in the Interspecies Union can predict the attacks, nor defend against them. Everyone is desperately looking for a way to defend their people and destroy the Dhryn. Mackenzie Connor, Mac, knows the Dhryn better than anyone else in the Union. She had visited the Dhryn home world, speaks the Dhryn language, had befriended the Dhryn scientist Brymn, and discovered the Dhryn involvement in mysterious attacks. The Earth Ministry of Extra-Sol affairs has isolated Mac on her salmon research station.

An attack on the research station drives Mac to her family vacation cottage. There she is joined by two quirky aliens who invite her to join an Interspecies Union research effort. Mac finds herself asking two very simple questions. Who are the Dhryn and what do they need? How are the Ro involved? But Mac has mainly questions, and everyone: the Ministry, the Interspecies Union and, even the Dhryn expect her to produce answers. Mac enlists the help of Fourteen and an archaeological team, who had been studying the original Dhryn planet.

The plot is simple but the joy of this book comes in the characters and dialogue and surroundings. The Northwest coast with its great trees and rivers, the interconnected lakes and rivers of the Ontario watershed and the alien embassy, like a great white pyramid. The people are individually described with their own quirks and dialect. There is Cassidy T. Wilson, Case, a horribly earnest graduate student afraid of having been stuffed into the wrong research group. Charles Mudge III, crusty and stiff necked, who invites himself into the research team to look after Mac. Fourteen, a vacationing alien, who has a most puckish sense of humor and feels free to be completely immature on vacations. The book is slower than the first book in the series. There are more people involved, the first book focused on only two characters, Brymn and Mac. This one has Mac, Mudge, Fourteen, Nik, and the Anchen with guest appearances by a host of other actors.

This is a wonderful book. Read it. Enjoy it. It has everything a Science Fiction book should have. It has a really well thought out world, fascinating characters both human and alien, a linear plot, mysterious aliens, threatening spaceships and desperate fights. The style is great, the vocabulary wonderful.

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