Interference by Sue Burke

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
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I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel to Semiosis. It is now two hundred years since the first settlers arrived on Pax and a new ship has arrived from Earth to see how things are going.

I was a little unsettled when the book commenced on Earth; I wanted a more on Pax not on Earth. But all quickly falls into place as the reader realises that these early chapters, interspersed with chapter set on Pax some hundred years later, are giving background to the interstellar mission being sent from an Earth that is recovering from a devastating plague. The mission will take a century to reach Pax and that is where the real story is taking place. So, all was fine!

Burke’s writing is as solid as the previous book. The science, primarily biology, is once again both plausible and intriguing. With more surprises being sprung on the reader at regular intervals. But all are developed logically and further illuminate the intriguing world she had created. At times I felt the motivations and actions of the characters, in particular the Terran characters, to be a little questionable and, on occasion, a little confusing. However, ultimately the whole thing hangs together well and makes for a very stimulating read.

At the end I was left wondering whether Burke intends to continue the series; the story felt complete but also felt open to continuation. On checking it I see it is described as a trilogy, so I guess continuation is the way it’s going. I’m a little ambivalent about that. On the one hand, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first two books and so a third promises more in this unusual world of alien biology. On the other hand, I can sort of see where it is likely to be going and I’m not so sure I’m looking forward to that. Well, time will tell! This one at least makes a very good sequel to it’s equally good predecessor.


4/5 stars
 
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