Manta's Gift Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Manta's Gift

Tor, Sep 2002, 24.95, 432 pp.
ISBN: 031287829X

Jakob Faraday is part of an expedition exploring Jupiter when intelligent animals Qanska apparently attack his Skydiver 7 bathyscaph. Jakob fears his vessel will be crushed, but he fortunately escapes back to the mother ship.
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Twenty years later, the Five Hundred fund a project involving Matt Raimey, a quadriplegic due to a skiing accident, to be placed inside the womb of a Qanska. When Matt is reborn, he will retain his human consciousness inside the body of a Qanska. Thus Matt, who felt he had nothing to live for before this opportunity, would serve as a bridge between the two species. As the Five Hundred and the Qanska each have hidden agendas, Matt now known as Manta, finds himself pulled in two directions that test his loyalty to his former life and to his current family.

MANTA'S GIFT is an action-packed futuristic tale that also coaxes the reader into deep thinking about biological issues that are not easily resolved unless you are a die hard a democrat or a republican. The key characters make the worlds of the future seem real, but especially critical is that the audience believes the human Matt essence was indeed reborn as the Qanska Manta. The criticality works as the conscience center of the novel that leads to the audience wondering what the biological possibilities of today's technology can achieve tomorrow. When creative Timothy Zahn goes for all out action, he succeeds with a powerful adventure, but also takes the audience away from the biological debate that makes this a gift to those fans who relish a thinking terse thriller.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Manta's Gift

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   generally friendly contact with alien(s) Inner Struggle    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   coping with mental/magical powers Lifeform altered?    -   Yes Kind of alteration:    -   Scientifically turned into another lifeform Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Alien Profession/status:    -   business executive


Earth setting:    -   medium future 22-24th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   an average amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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