Saturday, 24 September 2011
Highsong - Laura Jennings
Author: Laura Jennings
Apple iBookstore US
Apple iBookstore UK
Highsong is the debut novella by Laura Jennings which I found to be very well written and it does a good job in showing off the author's talent. The story itself is set in a universe where humanity has genetically engineered dolphins to help fight off an alien force. The reader specifically gets to follow a blind boy and a dolphin who are travelling to a lost colony world where they uncover an alien infestation that requires them working together to save their spacecraft and the life still remaining on the planet. Personally, the story made me think of David Brin's Uplift novels which have a similar premise in which animals are made sentient by humanity.
The plot is rather interesting and at times quite novel. I particularly liked the concept of the Highsong which was well thought out and the author has done quite a good job in explaining what could have been a complex concept in a way that the readers can easily understand. One thing I did note though was that it did feel a little slow at first, however once the initial set-up is complete the book speeds up into a fun and entertaining light sci-fi story.
In regards to the characters, due to this being a novella I don't feel that we get long enough to fully understand them but there is enough there to make them interesting and believable. I would really like to learn more about them, which I think is a good outcome for a story of this length. I now just have to hope that Laura Jennings has plans to enhance and add to their story in the future.
In summary, I did enjoy Highsong and I hope to read more in the future about both the characters introduced in this novella and the universe itself. It is a short story so don't expect to spend hours reading it, but it is quite creative and I think it would be a nice quick read for someone wanting to try out some sci-fi as the book isn't bogged down in hard sci-fi elements like techno-babble etc.