Twin-bred human-alien pairs cross the vastness of space in search of a new home. Bred as twins to bring unity to their world where human and tofa live in uneasy alliance, they finally took to space at the end of book one, Twin-Bred, rather than cause more strife and controversy. This second novel in the series opens with most of the twin-bred, and their creator, on a space-ship, while beloved friends try to blend in at home.
It’s been quite a while since I read book one, and I’d say most readers could safely start with this book. But they’ll probably want to know more, and book one’s still out there, enticing with its well-drawn aliens, and convincing insights into different ways of life. The same sense of the alien made real is just as vivid in Reach, and readers can quickly identify with a wholly different way of thinking, smiling, smelling, even sitting to relax (these aliens “lean”).
But this isn’t strangeness for strangeness’ sake. Intriguing questions of identity are explored—what makes us real, as well as what makes us human, what constitutes true sharing, and what will it take to make us see ourselves as others see us.
Loss, healing and hope rest in surprising places in these pages. Love and life both prove more than merely physical. And, as two characters work separately, together, it seems entirely right that one should muse, “If our reach proves insufficient, I will know, and move closer.” Would that we could apply that same lesson in life, instead of so often fleeing from what seems strange.
An enjoyable story with great characters, great plot, and intriguing food for thought, Reach is a worthy successor to Twin-Bred and this author’s reach is impressive.
Disclosure: I loved Twin-Bred and I jumped at the chance of a free ecopy of Reach for review.
Sheila Deeth wrote this review Thursday, November 7, 2013.