Book Review: Primary Inversion

Quick update–so much to do! I’m uploading final copies of my book to be published on Saturday. Be on the lookout for an Amazon giftcard giveaway, copies, a blog tour and more!

Meanwhile I’m trying to get through my review list:


Book: Primary Inversion

Author: Catherine Asaro

Publisher: Amazon digital (self published backlist, yay!)

Genre: Science Fiction / space opera

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It can be difficult finding good science fiction with actual science written by women. I heard about Catherine Asaro way back when I attended a writers’ convention over ten years ago. (The name might have been dropped by Connie Willis, who I was hanging out with–funny woman.) I purchased this book along with her second book, but then life kind of went haywire (I got a divorce and became a single mother). The books sat on my shelf, were boxed up, and then sat on my new shelf in my new house, for years.

Funny how the invention of the eReader has caused me to go back and start moving through my pile of books I always meant to read but never had the time. Since I can carry the Kindle in my purse, anywhere is a good place to read, and I can read multiple books at a time.

So I finally got to read this. And I really enjoyed it.

The book has a good mixture of space opera, science of bioengineering and space/time, and then also character development and romance. The opening scene was great with the image of these burly, over-muscled, armored and armed Jagernauts (and I’m sorry, but in my head I hear the German–“Yaegernawt”–because in German “Jager” means “hunter.” Otherwise it sounds too much like “Juggernaut” and I just didn’t like that).  It looked like a scene out of Halo to me.  I really liked the juxtaposition of outward strength and fighting ability in the main character combined with her inner vulnerability and damage as a rape victim. The book had several of these contrasting themes, which I think enriched it.

I also really liked the whole scenario of two warring cultures and a classic Romeo and Juliet setup. The book lost me in a few technical details during the starfight but picked me back up again when it dealt with the psychological aftermath of war. (It gets very techy, which even though I’ve read up on string theory and relativity and particle science was still a bit beyond me. So someone else will have to discuss the merits of the science. It looked good to me.) There are moments of humor as well as painful moments of human weakness and family dysfunction (in some cases REALLY dysfunctional).

I’ve already picked up the sample for Book 4–it seems that Books 2 and 3 are out of print and not yet in eBook form, so I’m hoping Asaro is working on getting the rights back on those to do it herself. I actually own Book 2 so I may be forced to actually read a physical book again for that.

I think my only complaint is that I wanted more by the end. This isn’t a comment on the plot–I think Asaro ended the book precisely where it needed to end. This is just the sign that she hooked me as a reader.

So for those who like a mixture of hard science together with a space opera feel as well as romance and “softer” psychology, I definitely recommend this book.

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