Think Jane Eyre, only in the future, on different planets and with higher tech, and that's what this book is. Jenna Starborn was harvested from the gen-tanks on the planet Baldus so that she could be someone's daughter. Although she is bought and raised in a home, she is not loved, nor is she adopted, and she cannot achieve first-class citizenship. When it is discovered that her aunt is not taking proper care of her, she is sent to a school on a far away planet, where she learns math and science. She becomes a nuclear technician and eventually gets a job at Thorrastone Park. She finds herself falling in love with the lord of the manor, Everett Ravenbeck, and feels as though the other women who work there, as well as Everett's ward, are her family. However, she is only a Half-Cit, while he has first-class citizenship, so she doesn't think anything could ever come of her feelings for him. Later, too, his secrets force the two of them even more apart.
The review of this Book prepared by Melissa Cookson
Ace, April 2002, 14.95, 400 pp.
In the far distant future, Earth has advanced so far technologically that she has colonized many planets in quite a few galaxies. On the planet of Baldos, a woman who thought she was barren contracted to have a child that was gestated in a gene tank. When Jenna Starborn was born, the woman now pregnant with her son, treated Jenna cruelly, refusing to adopt her.
Eventually, the authorities took her out of the home and ensconced her on Lora where she went to school at Lora Tech and learned to be a nuclear technician. After she graduates, she applies and obtains a job as a generator tech on the planet Fieldstar. Her employer Everett Ravenback of the domed estate of Thornafone Park falls in love with Jenna and asks her to marry him, but on her wedding day she learns a truth about him that causes her to flee across the galaxies in fear.
Sharon Shinn, like Anne McCaffrey and Catherine Asaro redefines the boundaries of the science fiction romance genre and in doing so creates a memorable, beautiful work. The heroine, a woman looked down by the elite of the galaxy, is a strong-minded and moral person who will not break her own ethical code even if it means giving up the man she loves. Jenna Starborn, in the decades to come, will be a cult classic.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner