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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Thursday, August 07, 2003

The Maquisarde by Louise Marley. New York, Ace Books, 2002. ISBN: 044100976X.

Mainstream science fiction depicting a not-too-distant future in which Europe, North America, Japan and a few other technological areas have created a virtual wall between themselves and the rest of the less developed portions of the world, essentially writing them off, providing no further aid, and interdicting most physical traffic between them.

The story revolves around a woman, a professional Parisian flautist, Ebriel, who loses her husband and daughter to violence created by this division, in an incident most likely caused by the ruling powers of the techno-elite, though attributed to terrorists. Determined to obtain revenge, she is rescued by and joins a resistance which is headquartered in the last remaining space habitat owned and operated by the very wealthy man whose technology provides the “fuel cells” now used for producing most of the world’s energy.

Like most good science fiction (or any good fiction, for that matter), the true strength of this story lies in the character development: the experiences, feelings, and growth over time of the sympathetic heroine as she struggles with the conflict between her need for revenge, and the natural human impulses to build a new life, new friends, new relationships. Will she ever want to play the flute again? And yet there is also plenty of action and suspense. Much of the book reads like a good action adventure thriller. Both fans of traditional “hard” sci-fi and the action adventure thriller genres should enjoy this story.

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