Tomes of Starhopping

Welcome to the land of wonders, where time travel is possible, space travel a reality, and "what ifs" come to life. Join me as I explore new worlds--and old ones--filled with scientific wonders, new civilizations, and strange new mysteries to consider.

W A R N I N G !

This review does not represent the opinions of the general public. It reflects my personal thoughts and opinions on the book.

That said, on to the review!

Title: The Ship Who Searched
Author: Anne McCaffrey & Mercedes Lackey
Publisher: Baen Books
Format: Paperback
Copyright Date: 1992

When a mysterious alien microbe cost Hypatia "Tia" Cade the use of her extremities at a young age, she was yet advanced enough in intelligence and social maturity to endure the transition into a shell, thus enabling her to become the brain of a brainship, the XH-1033. Now, armed with the gifts of a spaceship and her own incredible mind, she has the opportunity to embark on a vendetta against whatever cost Tia her limbs. True, it won't do her any good now, but at least she can prevent anyone else from turning out like her. At least, that's what she thinks. However, she wasn't exactly prepared for an existence of stalking space pirates and thieves of archaeological treasures. Now, she's on the lookout for a band of pirates whose merchandise may carry some unknown parasite or microbe that results in a plague far worse than anything she endured. Will she be able to stop the pirates? And will she ever find out what exactly drove her into a shell?

The Ship Who Searched continues the saga of the shellpersons like Helva and Nancia, both of whom were brainships like Tia. We are once again treated to an interesting look at how life goes on despite the hardships of birth defects and other physical ailments. This time we have a ship with a mission, instead of one whose story revolves around events that took place earlier in her existence.

I for one appreciate the economic/corporate twist that the authors put into this story. Having Tia rake in more and more credits through exceptional service (and wise investing) might ordinarily seem like a mere side plot, and now is no different, since all shellpeople--and for our experiences, brainships--are looking to buy out their contracts. However, this particular side plot may have long-reaching effects for all shell people, as Tia has an ulterior motive even in her investing and corporate "prospecting." It remains to be seen if it will all work out the way she hopes, but she has decades--if not centuries--of life to look forward to, so she can wait. Fortunately, you'll find out the answer before you age another year...unless you're a very slow reader.

The Ship Who Searched is an excellent book about the serious problems that anyone--even a young child--may have to face in life. Certainly this novel has all sorts of obstacles in Tia's path, but the end result is well worth the effort to follow her journey. All it takes is a little patience on your part, you know. Tia can certainly wait...for centuries, if need be!

Rating: Thumbs up! Space pirates and ruin raiders beware, 'cause Tia Cade is on the case!

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