City of Pearl Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of City of Pearl

Eos, Feb 2004, 6.99, 406 pp.
ISBN 0060591695

Environmental Hazard Enforcement Officer Shan Frankland is looking forward to early retirement but Foreign Minister Perault gives her one last mission. A signal from the Constantine Colony was received and the authorities want to see for themselves if it is really suitable for the human race to reside there. Shan has a second mission, memory suppressed until she needs to know it.
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When they arrive on Constantine, the colonists are not happy to greet them because they are there on sufferance. The planet belongs to an aquatic sentient species and is guarded by the Wess'har against the isenj who want to colonize Constantine. The major guardian is Aras, who is unique even among his own people, and finds in Shan a kindred spirit who has the same moral code that he abides by. When tragedy strikes, Aras is forced to break the rules of his own people to save Shan who might not thank him for her new life.

The world of Constantine is a fascinating one, a planet that four races have a stake in yet it only really belongs to the race that can't use any of “the land” mass but doesn't want humans polluting their pristine world or conquering it. Aras is there to make sure that does not happen but he is a very lonely person, isolated in many ways from his own kind and the original colonists on Constantine. Karen Travis is a talented storyteller and this reviewer would like to see more adventures starring Aras and Shan.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of City of Pearl

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   colonizing/homesteading another planet Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one culture tries to impose its culture on another group

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   government investigator Age:    -   20's-30's


A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a primitive/fantasy society Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Karen Traviss Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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