To confirm that it was indeed near death, the great vessel broke through into normal space with lingering slowness. The pain of the usually swift translation was prolonged as well, until the thousand, for all their strength, cursed and wept within their minds and became convinced that they would be trapped. It would be the grey limbo endlessly. That, and pain.
But the Ship was doing its best. Sharing the agony of the passengers, it pushed and pried against the tough fabric of the superficies until there were flickers of black against the grey. The Ship and the people felt their anguish dim into a mere harmony of nearly musical vibrations that echoed, damped, and finally snapped off.
They hung in normal space, stars all around them.
I picked this one up at – of all shops – Woolworths in the Heathway, Dagenham!
Again, the cover was the immediate draw, and I read the first few pages and couldn’t quite ‘get’ the writing style.
So I put it aside and went on to read something else. Then, about a year or two later, I came back to it. And was immediately hooked! Which, luckily, meant that the sequels had been published in the meantime, and I didn't have the agonising wait that I had to endure for the Galactic Milieu series that served as 'prequel' to the events of these books.
It's one of those series that really repays repeated reading, and most certainly repays eclectic reading - there are so many references and oblique nods to myths, legends, archetypes and even brands that the author ended up publishing a 'Pliocene Companion' to give the background for readers who hadn't perhaps got all the references.
She went on to produce a nifty little space opera series called the 'Rampart Worlds' trilogy, which I enjoyed immensely as well, but also published a few fantasy novels - the Blood Trilluim series - that I just can't get into at all. It seems to me as if they are written by a completely different author.
In a moment of rare serendipity, just the other week a literature account I follow reTweeted the announcement from Tor Books UK that they would be re-releasing these four novels, having first given the cover art a makeover. See what you think here.
Even better, eBook versions will be made available! My cup runneth over...