Copyright 1989 by
I first read this on the 1st July 2003.
In a future America, a disastrous drought has led to civil war, splitting the
continent. The American East fights the West. British Columbia
struggles to remains neutral.
The civilian areas on both sides are targeted for light raids, the use of
space-based lasers to wantonly destroy large areas of the surface. Everyone is
at risk. Many families have evacuated their children to British Columbia to be safe
from the wanton destruction.
The Hellene Family are well placed in the Hydra Company in Denver Springs.
Dares Hellene is Security chief, his wife Medea is chief scientist.
Their daughter Ariadne is a bright but innocent sixteen-year-old looking
forward to working as a biologist alongside her mother.
But increasing danger from light raid attacks has obliged Ariadne's parents
to evacuate her to neutral Victoria. She's sixteen years old, an enthusiastic,
trainee biologist and now she is forced to work as nursemaid to group of younger
children in the house of the unpleasant Mrs Ponsonby. Ariadne is unhappy and
When the weekly letters from her father stop coming and when her mother's letters
have taken on an unfamiliar character, Ariadne knows that something is wrong. She
decides it is time to run away from Victoria, and return to her parents.
She really has no idea what she is letting herself in for.
It's difficult to determine when in the future this is presumed to occur. The culture
has changed quite dramatically, there is a strong Greek influence over Western America
and it is hard to imagine how that could arise in the next fifty years or so. However
the feel of the plot is that of some Victorian romance.
It's written with Connie Willis' normal fast-moving style, but is clearly intended
for a teenage, and perhaps a female teenage, market.
This is a fairly enjoyable read but nothing special. Surprisingly mediocre for Connie.
Loaded on the 1st August 2003.