What I’m Reading: Artemis Awakening

Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold (Tor, 2014)

When the Empire fell, the location of the planet Artemis was lost, although legends remained to tantalize historians.  When ambitious archeologist Griffin Dane finds intriguing hints as to the location of the lost planet, he sets out alone to confirm his find.  When Dane reaches Artemis, his shuttle crashes – perhaps not by accident.  Stranded, with no discernible way to get home, he forms an uneasy alliance with the Huntress Adara and her psych-linked companion, the puma Sand Shadow.  Together they set out to find a way to get Griffin home, along the way uncovering some of the secrets that lie beneath the planet’s wilderness exterior, secrets that may lead to the recovery of weird powers far beyond what humanity now dares to dream.

My thoughts:

I’m much more of a fantasy reader than a sci-fi fan and will always opt for history over a tale about the future. The nice thing about Artemis Awakening is that I don’t have to pick. This book is about a primitive society engineered by an advanced civilization. It has space ships and telepathic animals, too, and while the “magic” might actually be science, the end result works just the same.

The writing here is technically good, as one would expect from such an experienced author. There’s plenty of conflict and character, adventure and humour. While this book is clearly the first in a longer tale, this volume has a complete story arc. There is a suggestion of romance, but it’s very much in the background and fits naturally with the personalities involved. The pacing is quiet at times but these pauses give the reader an opportunity to digest the larger questions the story poses. The book shifts to a darker tone as the plot develops which may not be to everyone’s tastes.

I haven’t read a book like this for a long time and I enjoyed it.  It’s always great when something reminds me of a genre I enjoy but have neglected for a while.  I will be looking for the next in the series.

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