Fledgling - Sharon Lee, Steve Miller2020-05-12 #books #reviews #scifi #liaden universe #stars:2 #books:2020 #published:2009
GoodReads Summary: 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 for all of Theo's life, in Jen Sar's house at the outskirts of town.
First things first: I did enjoy the fact that the universe has gender roles inverted -- with women being considered "strong" and "intellectual" and men being the ones that want to look pretty -- and this is not throw at your face at every moment, although it gets explicit by the end of the book, but by then, you're already good with it.
On the other hand, some things feel... weird. Not about the genders, but in the story itself. There is some great secret, something the main characters want to hide, doing a lot of schemes to conceal it and when it is said what it is... it feels dumb. Ok, someone is clumsy, but that's natural in someone's family and WHY THE HECK IS THAT A SECRET?!?
Also weird are some dialogues. At some point, there is one character asking a question and getting annoyed at it at the same time, like he didn't like to hear the question he just asked. Some discussions just jump into conclusions -- in the right conclusions -- which, again, feels weird. And there is a short arc in the middle of it that leads absolutely nowhere. It is throw in the story, affects absolutely nothing and goes away without a trace.
Maybe it's because I got the book from Humble Bundle and jumped straight into the 12 book of the series (the "Liaden Universe", although this is the first book about a sub-series of one of the characters, or so it seems), but I didn't feel compelled by any of the characters.