Found Girl— review and commentary

For me, the works of Pauline Baird Jones are hit and miss. My favorite of her stories is the first one I read (The Key, also known as Project Enterprise, Book 1). I’ve read several other of her novels, and her style is generally a blend of snappy dialogue, kick-butt heroines, romantic suspense, and sufficient action to keep the reader entertained.

My most recent read is billed as Book 6 in the Project Enterprise series. The main character is Arian Teraz, a young woman whose place in the universe is destined to be an arranged marriage a tilling some farmland on a rather primitive planet. Right before she must marry, a mysterious ship lands in front of her and invites her to take a chance on another life. As the ship leaves her home planet, they are attacked, and somehow she steers the ship through a wormhole. On the other side of that is a pilot named Cooper. This is where fans of Project Enterprise novels will see how this story fits into the series.

Found Girl contains the snappy dialogue, action, and Jones’ trademark blend of science fiction and fantasy elements. I read an eBook version, which is $4.99 at this writing.

Short Reviews of my Summer Reading (thus far)

I’ve read a few new (or new to me) titles, which could all be loosely grouped into the sub genre of science fiction romance. These titles were chosen because the authors are favorites of mine.

First, I read the novella “The Day Her Heart Stood Still” by Susan Grant. This yarn, originally published in a collection, is now available as a stand alone from Amazon’s Kindle Store. Grant’s early works, especially the suspense filled Contact and the light-hearted time travel novel Once a Pirate are my all time favorites by Grant. TDHHSS is just as light-hearted as the latter, but is more like Contact in subject matter. Anyway, it is the story of an astronaut’s encounter with an extra terrestrial, and since the format is short, the love story happens at a whirlwind pace. As I read it, I kept thinking it would have made a great stand alone novel. And, Grant is especially good at connecting with her readers, so she has a neat back story on the story on her website/blog.

Pauline Baird Jones is a fabulous writer, and there are a some wonderful examples of her creativity in her sequel to a sequel, Kicking Ashe. The book which began this series, The Key, is one of my favorite science fiction/romance stories. While I liked the sequel, Girl Gone Nova, I didn’t love it. Maybe it has been too long since I read those yarns, but somehow the Kicking Ashe story didn’t really work for me. However, Jones’ character development and prose is as entertaining as ever, and this story has earned great reviews and a Galaxy award over at SFR. Maybe it was just me….

Another series in this genre that I have enjoyed is by Janet Miller, and it all began with Promises to Keep, followed by the first book I read in the series, Beloved Enemy.  I seemed to have missed Beloved Traveler, but I enjoyed Beloved Stranger quite a bit. All of these books are far more romance than science fiction, but in a day and age when marriage between men and women is more and more ephemeral, the idea of mating for life is something to admire or even fantasize about. Indeed, the whole Gaian concept of “attachment” of males to females is a bit more fantasy than science fiction, but I have enjoyed the stories in this series and I do recommend them to true romantics.

I’ve read a few other items too, but nothing worthy of a review. Still, the hottest part of the summer is yet to come, so I will probably be reading rather than out sweating….

Girl Gone Nova— Review

Since I read Pauline Baird Jones’ The Key, I have been waiting for this book. One reason I read eBooks is that I enjoy stories which are more “novel” than the novels published by the big guys. I happened upon The Key when it was atop the list of science fiction books at Fictionwise, and I read it and re-read it. One of the more charming aspects of The Key is the POV character, Sara Donovan, a “kick their trash” fighter pilot.

While set in the same universe, Girl Gone Nova is not exactly a sequel. Instead, we have another main POV character who interacts with some of the supporting cast from The Key. Delilah Oliver Clementyne (Doc) is indeed a doctor. But she is also a military troubleshooter who specializes in doing the impossible. A couple of years or so after Donovan returns to earth, things are in such a mess that Doc is despatched to do her version of Mission Now Possible. Her outlook is a bit darker than Donovan’s, but she is quite entertaining, nevertheless. The plot involves political intrigue, first contact with aliens, and multiple timelines. Jones bills this book as fantasy, and since it is intended to be contemporary, but all of a sudden we have interstellar propulsion, I guess that qualifies as fantasy. There aren’t any trolls or sparkly vampires, but for me, that’s a plus. I’d much rather have spaceships, aliens, and nanotechnology, and this series has all three.

Girl Gone Nova is available in print and eBook form, and it is a fun yarn for light summer reading.