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Monday, May 5, 2014

Interplanetary diplomacy can be a scary thing

Pelle, Serge; Runberg, Sylvain (2009)  Orbital  Canterbury: Cinebook

Caleb Swany is the first human to be admitted to the Interworld Diplomatic Office.  He gets paired with a Sanjaar named Mezoke (you can see them both in the cover image above).  Although they don't immediately get along, during training, they come to rely on each other.  Then they get their first assignment, to broker a treaty between the humans on a mining world, and the Sanjaar who they took it away from.  When terrorists and carnivorous creatures from below the surface intervene, it looks like peace may be impossible. 
     It sounds like I am not telling you the rest because I don't want to spoil the ending, but actually, that is all I know. I have only read book 1 of Orbital.  There are at least two other books.  But I haven't been able to get hold of them, so I can't tell you how it ends.  This makes me feel a bit like I used to when I would read a six year old Avengers comic at my cousin's house and get to the end of it and realize that he only way I could find out the ending would be to go to Argus Used books, search the back issues, and hope I could read the whole comic before the owner of the store asked me if I was going to buy that or what?
     So it annoys me, but it is a good story.  The plot is gripping, the art is excellent, and there are even some decent themes to it that get you thinking (the most obvious one has to do with racial prejudice.)
     The book is pretty violent at times.  I think this one would work best for high school.  And if anyone stumbles across a copy of the second or third book, let me know what happens next, okay?

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