Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Review: Starbridge by A.C. Crispin

Starbridge by A.C. Crispin
Series: Starbridge #1
Genre: Sci-Fi
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Earth's first contact with an alien race turns to disaster when a friendly encounter erupts into inexplicable violence and the threat of interstellar war.

But two ordinary individuals--Mahree Burroughs, an ordinary woman with a gift for friendship, and Dhurrrkk', a male Simiu with boundless curiosity--have forged a bond of understanding that bridges their many differences.

Along with a reluctant Robert Gable, brilliant young ship's physician, they make an astounding journey across the stars, to seek a way to save the future of both species!

"It's a big universe, remember! Anything could be out here."

This book is so much fun. This is a story of the very first of all the first contacts. Humans have been to the stars, they've colonized planets and all that. They have FTL drives that are still slow enough that they need cryogenic freezing to travel between their colonies and Earth. But they've never seen alien life.

Well, of course, this is a sci-fi story, so that won't last long.

One of my favorite things about this book was the way the first contact was treated.

"Nobody's right and nobody's wrong, we're both just different. We have no right to judge each other."

Humans have never spoken to another race, so it's not like these two races can just meet each other and start talking. It takes time to build translators. It takes time to learn the language. There are barriers.

The plot is very much an 'exploration' type - even if sometimes all that's being explored is the interpersonal communications of two races.

I keep telling myself that what I'm feeling isn't love, that I'm too young for that…but it feels like love. Is it possible to really love someone when you're almost seventeen?

Mahree is a great main character to follow. She's got a sense of wonder and adventure that is desperately needed in a story like this. She's also very mature for her age. Sure, she has some teen issues, but if her age had never been mentioned, I could have easily pictured her a good three-five years older.

The supporting cast is great. I like all of them and I like how they react to things. And, honestly, the main alien we deal with is a total sweetheart! Love the friendship that builds between the two races.

However, I did have a couple of problems. First, I hated the nicknames in this book. Everyone was either 'honey,' 'baby' or 'sweetheart'. Everyone. Even the cat was called honey. It's almost like 'pookie bear' and 'snookems' for level of horrible 'pet' names. Excuses while I throw up a little.

Also, the love interest. I thought I'd like him. And I did. At first. I thought he was cute and sweet. But then…he just seemed to get demanding. He tried to tell Mahree what she could and couldn't do and he really put her on the spot about their relationship. He was clingy and controlling.

The romance was handled well in regards to Mahree not just going with the flow or being a doormat, though.

There was also a really nice does of humor with the confusion of two races meeting and not understanding each other very well.

"Beg pardon? What, please, means 'shit'? My link lists no definition."