The Silver Ship and the Sea
by Brenda Cooper
Jakob’s Goodreads Rating: (2) of 5 Stars – “It was ok”
Recommended for: Scifi Readers
The colony planet Fremont is joyous, riotous, and very wild. Its grasses can cut your arms and legs to ribbons, the rinds of its precious fruit can skewer your thumbs, and some of the predators are bigger than humans. Meteors fall from the sky and volcanoes erupt. Fremont is verdant, rich, beautiful, and dangerous.
Fremonts single town, Artistos, perches on a cliff below rugged mountains. Below Artistos lie the Grass Plains, which lead down to the sea. And in the middle of the Grass Plains, a single silver spaceship lies quiet and motionless. The seasons do not dull it, nor do the winds scratch it and the fearful citizens of Aristosos wont go near it. Chelo Lee, her brother Joseph, and four other young children have been abandoned on the colony planet.
Unfortunate events have left them orphaned in a human colony that abhors genetic engineering and these six young people are genetically enhanced. With no one to turn to, Chelo and the others must now learn how to use their distinct skills to make this unwelcome planet home, or to find a way off it. They have few tools: an old crazy woman who wanders the edges of town, spouting cryptic messages; their appreciation and affection for each other; a good dose of curiosity; and that abandoned silver space ship that sits locked and alone in the middle of the vast grass plain.
This isn’t classified as a YA, but certainly had the feel of one. I rated it as a 2-star because it was very slow paced, drawn out, and I almost put it down a couple of times. Yet it had some very thought provoking elements in it that kept me going.
How a society works together after a war that leaves them with the defeated sides few remaining children. Just six, but there is an impact. Some handle it well, to others it is just a reminder of the war between the genetically-engineered and the “normal” humans. The children stuck growing up in this society, it is a constant struggle for acceptance and finding out who they are.
As I said, it is a bit of a slow paced process going through those concepts. The foreshadowing is a bit heavy handed as well. While I didn’t figure out some of the resolution exactly, foreshadowing at the beginning of the book pretty much indicates something about the ending. It really removed a lot of potential tension and reduced the enjoyment of the book.
Those things being said, if I recall correctly this is Brenda Coopers first solo book. I see potential in this book and the ending was enough to make me pick up the next two books: Reading the Wind and Wings of Creation.