The Geomancer



Cynthia Ward reviews Joel Shepherds' Breakaway: A Cassandra Kresnov Novel for's Sci Fi Weekly, where she gives the book a C+. Despite the low grade, there are some very enthusiastic quotes, such as:

"Shepherd continues to develop his ambitious future with considerable sociocultural and political astuteness. More than occasionally, readers will find themselves reminded uncomfortably of current events, as when Shepherd's protagonist states, 'I like that the public can change their mind. It means politicians have to be flexible, and take all public mood-swings into account. Nothing's more dangerous than a narrow-focused leadership with a closed mind.' Shepherd's universe is developed in enormous depth, and Breakaway delivers all the world-building details that SF fans expect—and many, many more."

And this:

"Shepherd's protagonist, the smart yet naive Cassandra Kresnov, is a sympathetic character, and an intriguing new addition to SF's self-aware android tradition, which includes Clifford Simak's Time and Again, Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner, Robert A. Heinlein's Friday and the anime series Ghost in the Shell."

Cynthia takes issues with aspects of the novel, from the complexity of its politics (a plus in my mind), to the supra-human nature of its action, to "the heterosexual Sandy's friendship with the bisexual Vanessa," seeing male projections onto these female characters. I won't take issue here. I appreciate the review, which has me itching to reread the book, so maybe it will have that effect on others too!

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