Theo Waitley has lived all her young life on Delgado, a Safe World that is home to one of the galaxy's premier institutions of higher learning. Both Theo's mother, Kamele, and Kamele's onagrata Jen Sar Kiladi, are professors at the university, and they all live comfortably together, just like they have all of Theo's life, in Jen Sar's house at the outskirts of town.
Suddenly, though, Theo's life changes. Kamele leaves Jen Sar and moves herself and Theo back into faculty housing, which is not what Theo is used to. Once settled back inside the Wall, Kamele becomes embroiled in faculty politics, and is appointed sub-chair of her department. Meanwhile Theo, who has a notation in her file indicating she is "physically challenged", has a series of misadventures, including pulling her best friend down on the belt-ride to class, and hurting a team mate during a scavage game.
With notes piling up in her file, Theo only wants to go "home" to the house in the suburbs, and have everything just liked it used to be.
Then, Kamele uncovers evidence of possible dishonest scholarship inside of her department. In order to clear the department, she and a team of senior professors must go off-world to perform a forensic document search. Theo hopes this will mean that she'll be left in the care of the man she calls "Father", Professor Kiladi, and is horrified to learn that Kamele means to bring Theo with her!
A lovely return to the Liaden universe and a long break. Theo is a delightful protagonist and I enjoyed watching her grow.
It took me a little while to get back into the swing of thing, but once I did the book was a delight.
It did feel a little unfinished though. The overall mystery was never properly put to rest. Sure, a satisfying conclusion was reached, but the reader was left to figure out a lot of the details by inference rather that because it was written into the book.
A couple of characters got away and we still don't know the exact why of what was being done. I hope these things are concluded in the next book. (I have a copy of Saltation and will be starting it an a day or two.) But even if it isn't, I won't be very unhappy.
I really enjoyed Fledgling and it has confirmed my desire to reread the entire Liaden series, as I've only read it all once. I'm quite, quite sure these are books that only grow richer with rereading.
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Liaden Universe®, Book 12 (in my own personal reading order)
Read: 11-5-10 to 18-5-10
Liaden Universe® (in my own personal reading order)
- Local Custom
- Scout’s Progress (Goodreads link)
- Mouse and Dragon (Goodreads link)
- Conflict of Honors (Goodreads link)
- Agent of Change (Goodreads link)
- Carpe Diem (Goodreads link)
- Plan B (Goodreads link)
- I Dare (Goodreads link)
- Crystal Soldier (Goodreads link)
- Crystal Dragon (Goodreads link)
- Balance of Trade (Goodreads link)
- Saltation (Goodreads link)
- Liaden Unibus I (Goodreads link)
- Liaden Unibus II (Goodreads link)
- Ghost Ship (due 2011)