Friday, May 8, 2015

Queen of Chaos, by Sabrina Chase

I posted this on one of the forums I frequent, because it amazed me at the time, and still does: Sabrina Chase invents languages. At least two, maybe three. The biggest stretch is the language she invents for the crabs, because they don't share anything in common with humans. I suppose you could really count that as two separate inventions; she has one section where we get a direct quote from a crab, and then there are numerous episodes of what passes for a translator; the word choices require the language equivalent of a Sherlock Holmes, in my opinion. Then, there are the human specialized dialects. I'm not certain if criminal speak and tech speak are the same form, not being a linguist, but the dialect varies enough that it requires either context or translation to be intelligible to the naive character.

It's been a long, long journey for Moire. She's lost her original crew friends and her ship, and spent a lot of time on the run. She has become the stand-in mother for a batch of children in the bodies of adults. And she has stumbled into a monstrous conspiracy or two, plus getting involved with the worst criminals in known space.
I don't think she gets a single nap, either. Maybe one after smooching, but I think the smooching took place during her regular sleep period.
I'm finding that avoiding spoilers becomes more difficult the further along in a series you go. That may not be true for George R R Martin, because he NEVER resolves plot points; he just kills characters off and writes another thousand pages. Sabrina doesn't do that. She actually gets resolution for her people, and that's a big plus. However: how do you keep your readers, when they KNOW what the plot issues are from the previous books, and they KNOW you are going to resolve them in the final book?
Here's how Sabrina does it: she's a great writer. She puts in little details, and makes them just as involving as the broad strokes. And she uses the viewpoint of minor characters to let us observe the changes in the main characters.
Here are some things you want to know about:
1. Why are the crabs and the humans fighting?
2. What happens to the evil corporation Toren?
3. What happens with the paradise planet Sequoyah?
4. Do Moire and Ennis get to hook up long-term, or will duty keep them apart?
5. Does Moire get back the last artifact of her past life, the NASA pin?

And here are the answers: SPOILER ALERT!
1. I'm not going to tell you.
2. Ditto.
3. Same here.
4. Read the book and find out.
5. Yes, of course she does.

You are going to want to put the books in the Sequoyah series on a shelf you can reach without stretching. You will be re-reading them within a year. Make sure to write your name inside the cover, in case, in your enthusiasm, you lend them out. That way, you will have at least a small chance of getting them back.
And fortunately for us all, Sabrina has other books and stories available. Buy several copies of each, please; the lady needs to feed her cats.

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