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Monday, December 03, 2007

Gabriel's Ghost

****½ Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclair. Science fiction romance.

I bought this RITA-award-winning book on the advice of a friend--thanks, Cory!

Gabriel's Ghost is about Chasidah (Chaz) Bergren and Gabriel (Sully) Sullivan. Chaz was a starship captain until she ended up on a prison planet. Sully was a smuggler and mercenary she'd been up against several times, until his supposed death. And now her one-time adversary is rescuing her and asking for her help.

Seems someone is breeding jukors, incredibly vicious, impossible-to-control monsters, and Sully's involved with a group trying to stop it, but they need an insider to help: Chaz. It also probably has something to do with Sully's feelings for her.

I can't summarize the complexity of this book in a couple short paragraphs. There's very thorough worldbuilding, including different races and religions and the accompanying prejudices, as well as a variety of mental powers. There's also complex emotional development, not just of the romance, but also of family relationships and of the dissolution of prejudices and the reaction to fear and trauma. And not least, there's an exciting suspense plot, with plenty of edge-of-your-seat action and divided loyalties and surprising twists.

My only complaint was that Chaz kept getting blasted with one traumatic revelation after another, and at one point, it got to be a bit much. I'm all for pushing characters to their limits, and I enjoyed it here, too, but it did make me say "you have got to be kidding."

I have one more Linnea Sinclair book in my TBR pile, and I'll be looking for more.

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