Tor, Sep 2003, 23.95, 256 pp.
The twin planets Kainui and Kaihapa are covered by water and orbit a binary star system. Polynesians settled on Kainui, a planet with deep oceans and a poisoned atmosphere. The horrendous climatic conditions include a horrific noise way over acceptable decibel levels requiring special equipments to survive the racket and the pollution. The inhabitants of this watery orb live on floating cities developed by biotechnology.
Maori Earthling Mike Hoani arrives on Kainui to study the changes in language since colonization. Trader Captain Wanaka accompanied by her husband and a ten-year-old apprentice takes the off-worlder on her boat. Their boat becomes damaged and soon they drift towards the South Pole. There on the edge of the frozen realm they encounter inhabitants of an ice city. Neither race knew of the existence of the other, but confrontation is the reaction.
Upfront the story line seems a bit weak as the novel feels more like an exciting anthropologic study tale than an action adventure science fiction thriller. The Kainui environs are superbly drawn so that the audience has a feel for the floating culture and to a lesser degree the civilization of the ice men. Fans who appreciate a strange different realm will enjoy this water world tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner