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City of Pearl

City of Pearl [Kindle Edition]

Karen Traviss
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £4.81
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Product Description


....makes the old tropes new again. Traviss handles everything with a mixture of panache and restraint... a bravura performance. -- Locus, February 2004 (Faren Miller)

City of Pearl is a strong first installment and marks the debut of a writer to watch. -- BookPage, April 2004

A thoroughly competent and satisfyingly complex tale...(which)...evokes the earlier moral fables of Le Guin...a writer worth watching. -- Locus, January 2004 (Gary Wolfe)

Intensely satisfying ...what makes City of Pearl such a good read is its unsentimentality and its clear sightedness. -- New York Review of Science Fiction, January 2004

Skilful working of point of lovely and often ironic effect. (An) engaging, thoughtful and sometimes uncomfortable book. -- Locus, March 2004 (Russell Letson)

Locus, February 2004 (Faren Miller)

....makes the old tropes new again. Traviss handles everything with a mixture of panache and restraint... a bravura performance.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 396 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0060541695
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (17 Mar 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FCKH1U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #239,143 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

#1 New York Times best-selling novelist, scriptwriter and comics author Karen Traviss has received critical acclaim for her award-nominated Wess'har series, and her work on Halo, Gears of War, Batman, and other major properties has earned her a broad range of fans. She's best known for military science fiction, but GOING GREY, the first of her new techno-thriller series, is set in the real world of today. A former defence correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist, she lives in Wiltshire, England. She's currently writing the new G.I. Joe flagship comic series, and working on BLACK RUN, the sequel to GOING GREY.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pearl of a Novel 21 Nov 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
From the moment I started reading I couldn't put this book down. I know that's a cliche but with this book it was true. The characters really leap out of the pages as 'real' people.
The main character, Shan Frankland, is one of those rare human beings, someone with integrity. Throughout the book she is struggling to keep her charges alive despite their best efforts. The whole environmentalist theme of the book really appealed to me. And Karen's view of the future, one of human society being run by large corporations, while at once sinister is also very believable. And the vision of humans rapaciously spreading to other worlds is all too familiar to human history so far.
If you like your science fiction with a lot of realism, with a hard edge and without too much techno-babble getting in the way of a strong story, then this book is for you. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story.
Ripping yarn!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finest Science Fiction 6 April 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I think this novel is a rare treat for the most demanding readers of Science Fiction: clear and profound narrative, intriguing, original story, marvelously described aliens (Weinbaum and Vance come to mind) , interesting characters, plausible and competent in scientific speculation. The commander of an expedition to a forgotten Earth Colony on planet Cavanagh II believed extinct finds the colony alive, but also finds the expedition is less than welcome, as the humans on the planet have managed to adapt to the alien and complex eco-political balance under the surveillance of the planet appointed aklien Guardian, Aras. From this, the tale which unfolds largely from the POV of alien species, which the Author depicts with unusual skill and originality. No little green men with silly antennas, here, but truly alien beings here, thinking in alien ways. Isaac Asimov would have been delighted as I've been by Karen Traviss narrative art.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First in an excellent series 21 Feb 2006
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
First book in a very imaginative and fascinating series. One of very few science fiction books which has aliens who are both plausible and genuinely different from humans and other terrestial creatures.

The sequence is: Book One, City of Pearl
Book Two, Crossing the Line
Book Three, The World Before
Book Four, Matriarch
Book Five, Ally

Due in April 2008: book 6, Judge.

The series works best when read in this sequence.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars more, more, more 20 Oct 2005
By humanitysdarkerside VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I began reading this series with book no. 2 for some reason and thorougly enjoyed that. I wondered how Shan got infected and decided to buy no. 1 - no regrets. This is an excellent beginning to a new series. The characters are neither one nor two dimensional but seem like real people. The definition of people is challenged in this book - even with regards to the creatures on this earth. Humans are seen for what they are - monkeys with power.
Environmental Hazard Enforcement officer Shan Frankland agreed to lead a mission to Cavanagh's Star, knowing that 150 years would elapse before she could finally return home. They all thought they would go to an unchartered planet - one that humans possibly could take over and make into their own. But alas, three separate alien societies have claims on Cavanagh's Star already.
With her on her mission, Shan has Marines and scientists. They meet up with the human colony, and are told by Aras - the Wess'har protector of Besenjey (the planet) - that they may not collect any samples of anything. Information will be provided. Being human ensures that this order will not be followed by all. From there on one catastrophe after another comes about for the humans away from home.
Shan discovers that Aras is something more than Wess'har. It turns out he has been infected by something called c'naatat - an entity (bacteria/parasite/whatever) that infects a body and adapts it so that it will survive anything but an explosion. She understands the implications of this. If humans get their hands on something like c'naatat they will go crazy.
There is a lot happening all the time in the book. Traviss has done an excellent job and I would recommend it to anyone wholeheartedly.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine new sf writer. 3 Mar 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good political sf: an interplanetary first contact novel which ruthlessly examines human ethics. No knee jerk reactions, no sloppy thinking. Fans of Ken MacLeod, C J Cherryh and Brian Stableford will like this.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for book 2 - Crossing the line! 29 Feb 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Well done Karen Traviss! This is a very convincing book with all kinds of plots and sub plots taking place in a world far from home. Shan Frankland, an Environmental Hazard Enforcement Superintendent was five days from retirement. Now she's on Cavanaugh's Star which is 150 years from Earth with a supressed briefing and no idea what will happen next.
As the plot unfolds Shan finds herself infected with a biological parasite which means she can never go home......
From the very beginning the plot draws you in until you can't put the book down. This book has been called a stellar debut; well I agree, and I can't wait for the sequel in November 2004.
Look out for Karen Traviss, she's taking us places!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Vegan heteronormative pseudo-environmentalist propaganda
First of all, let me start this sadly negative review with saying that I wanted to like this book. I really did. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lilith
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and had been downloading book 2 as soon as I had finished
Karen Traviss is one if my favourite authors now. Her story telling takes your imagination to other worlds and tells of a story that may one day happen in the not too distant... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Willowtree
5.0 out of 5 stars Great SF first contact novel
What a fab book! Shan Frankland is a great central character, an environmental hazard enforcement officer, an ethical cop. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Yvonne M. Rowse
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Character Driven Sci-Fi
The story is set at a time when various governments have merged together in an attempt to combat the growing powers of corporations. Read more
Published on 21 Dec 2011 by Killie
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
I don't need to give plot details as other reviewers have done enough of this but I've just finished this book & found it engrossing & would recommend it as containing a balanced... Read more
Published on 24 Oct 2007 by Roger Cawkwell
4.0 out of 5 stars spare a copper
The start of a series of science fiction novels that introduces us to shan frankland, veteran policewoman working in environmental protection somewhen in the future. Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2007 by Paul Tapner
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