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Review – Twin-Bred February 15, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 3.5 stars, Sci-Fi.
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Twin-Bred

by Karen A. Wyle

(also available in paperback)

Can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb?

     Humans have lived on Tofarn, planet of creeks and rivers, for seventy years, but they still don’t understand the Tofa. The Tofa are an enigma, from their featureless faces to the four arms that sometimes seem to be five. They take arbitrary umbrage at the simplest human activities, while annoying their human neighbors in seemingly pointless ways. The next infuriating, inexplicable incident may explode into war.
     Scientist Mara Cadell’s radical proposal: that host mothers carry fraternal twins, human and Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species. Mara knows about the bond between twins: her own twin, Levi, died in utero, but she has secretly kept him alive in her mind as companion and collaborator.
     Perhaps Mara should have expected the enigmatic Tofa to have their own reasons to support her project. Perhaps the ever-cynical Levi should have warned her that members of the human government might use her twins as weapons against the Tofa. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?

I had a hard time connecting with anyone but the “main” character until much, much later on in the book. It wasn’t that anyone wasn’t appealing to me, it was that character development was very slow in coming. There were also too many points of view in the book and it left me feeling disconnected.

The pace of the book was very slow. There wasn’t much action to the book as it centered more on the development and the growth of the twins. It turned out to be more of a drama rather then an action/adventure type sci-fi story. On the whole the twins were endearing though. Their antics were quite sweet even if I did get a trifle impatient with them.

I found Mara Cadell’s interactions to be the most insightful. She was a very complex character and I enjoyed her. She had a lot of depth of feeling. For that Wyle gets a lot of points.

Everything comes together in the end of the book nicely. The pace of the book picks up. Key points of the plot comes into play. I thought it was well done, but it didn’t quite make up for the earlier disappointments I experienced earlier in the book.

On the whole, the book was very imaginative and ingenious. The Tofa were fascinating creatures and the idea of having fraternal twins of alien species was a great idea.

3.5 stars
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