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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb follow one from Dark Space, 10 Nov 2008
By 
Mark Chitty (North Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Chaos Space: The Sentients of Orion Book Two (Paperback)
Mira has fled Araldis on Insignia - as an Innate only she can pilot the ship with the gene she has inherited from her father. Setting course to the nearest OLOSS system in search of help for Araldis, she faces continuous obstacles and questioning, not only about Araldis but of the Biozoon, Insignia, in which they show more than just a passing curiosity. Along with the group of mercenaries she picked up on Araldis, Mira and Insignia try to find help. Rast, the leader of the mercenaries, has some interesting contacts that will help them on the way.

Jo-Jo Rasterovich is stewing in his cell, locked up after being set up. With his ship gone and no evidence to back his version of events he fears all is lost. Meanwhile Tekton is gathering pace in order to carry out his magnificent plan to impress Sole. With news of the quixite coming from Araldis he sets about finding a craftsman that will realise his dream.

On Araldis Trin is leading those that are left to the islands where they hope safety awaits. Although there is reluctance from another group that has joined them, the protection and leadership he offers is hard to resist. With their goal set all he can do is travel towards it while he awaits Mira's return and the hope of salvation for Araldis.

In my review of Dark Space I said that although I enjoyed the novel, I didn't find it fitted with the space opera badge it was given. With almost all events taking place on Araldis it seemed like the story of Mira and Trin, the two characters it focused on more than others. I enjoyed it despite feeling slightly misled and looked forward to the other books in the series with high hopes. I was pretty confident that Marianne would expand the canvas and show us more of the galaxy of the Sentients of Orion. I can honestly say that Chaos Space not only lived up to my expectations, but exceeded them.

What we get this time around is a much larger picture of events going on and also more characters through whose eyes we see these events. Mira is the main character, that much is clear, and her progression carries through nicely. From fleeing the studium at the beginning of Dark Space she has changed quite a bit, becoming more confident even after the events she is put through at the hands of Trin. Her interaction with Rast is one of the better points and goes some distance to advance her character. Rast is still very much the mercenary looking after herself, but this time there is that layer beneath the surface that we only catch glimpses of now and again - I do like Rast, her in-your-face attitude just fits perfectly.

We also get plenty more of Tekton in Chaos Space and he is as ridiculous as ever, his attitude and mannerisms are completely out of place in his situation. It's nice to see him plow forward with his plans, cock-sure of himself and completely devious to gain what he wants. What I also like about Tekton is the gift Sole gave him: two minds. He has a free mind, basically him, and also a logic mind which is the complete opposite of his character. The interactions between these two are amusing and help to make him a better character than he normally would be.

We have some sections following Jo-Jo, his incarceration and some back story that helps things later in the novel. We also follow a little of Trin and the plight of the survivors to further escape the horror they are fleeing. Trin is still a character that I dislike, but his story is one I'm looking forward to follow further in the next book, something which sort of surprised me after putting Chaos Space down.

Overall the story takes a good turn, following effectively through from the events in Dark Space and bringing some more elements into play, just like any good space opera should. With two books still to come there are endless possibilities on where the direction of the series will go, and I'll be looking forward to finding out where that will be. Marianne has taken a huge step towards creating a must-read series with Chaos Space and a great multi-layered space opera. Wonderful stuff!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, 9 July 2014
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The end of Dark Space has left Mira pregnant, raped by Trin so he could ensure his progeny with a pure-blood noble from Araldis. Rast states it so well

"Women get raped," said Rast harshly, her pale skin flushed with emotion. "Sometimes in war, sometimes just for the hell of it. That's what happens." She gripped Mira's wrist and pulled her close. Then she hugged her tightly for a long moment.

"We'll get your world back for you, Baronessa. But tell me something: are you sure you really want it?"

Not only did Trin rape Mira and send her off-planet to get help. While staying behind he makes certain to besmirch Mira's reputation by claiming that she has run off. For Trin does not want Mira to become more popular than he. After all, that might endanger his own shot at becoming Principe after the war.

War, ambition, greed, death.

Trin is more concerned with saving his men than with saving the population of Araldis. Cass Mulravey sees that he has no clue that if he wishes to rebuild his world, he will need women to bear children. The two of them are at odds through all of "Chaos Space". Only Djeserit's attempts to broker a peace between them keeps them from open dispute. Until Trin has managed to finagle the loyalty of the women who have followed Cass, he has to at least give the appearance of working for the greater good. Perhaps all of this pretending will turn to true behavior eventually???

We find out who Djeserit's mother is. Oh, dear! Poor girl. None of us choose our own parents, but some of us are left with worse parents than others. Bethany Farr is no ideal mother. She seems to have repented of sending Djeserit off and now wants to save Djeserit and thereby Aldaris. But will Bethany carry through or perhaps only work towards the redemption of her daughter until her next "love" comes along??

Insignia, the biozoon carrying Mira, turns out to have an agenda of its own. The vessel has repeatedly tried to get Mira to understand that it does not care about humanesques in general, only the ones with which it can communicate. When its contract with the Fedor clan runs out in the middle of an escape, Mira fully comes to understand how true and real that is.

Mira is one severely traumatized person who is thrown from one chaotic episode to the next. Needing to make decisions pronto goes against her socialization, and tearing herself loose from that socialization is incredibly painful for her. In Dark Space Mira learned to handle a gun, something that was forbidden to the upper-class women. In "Chaos Space" she has to learn to see through the fallacies of her traditions. Having worked my way out of fundamentalism, makes it easy for me to relate to what Mira must have gone through. Being brought up in a society where women are taught from a young age that they are less and also taught how to internalize this tradition and accept it as right and proper makes the reach through the fog of indoctrination severely painful and self-actualizing. Mira is forced to grow once she makes the choice to make her way through her fog and grow she does.

Asking for help is more complicated than Mira had thought. Naively, Mira had expected that explaining her planet's situation to OLOSS would bring OLOSS to the rescue. But OLOSS is concerned with what is in it for them and want to get hold of Insignia so they can study it. Having read something about the history of our own world this concern with profit in the face of aid is nothing new. In fact, I wonder if the need to profit from another person's tragedy is embedded in the human psyche?

DePierres' writing is as riveting in "Chaos Space" as it was in Dark Space. Again I found myself struggling to stop reading.

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Chaos Space: The Sentients of Orion  Book Two
Chaos Space: The Sentients of Orion Book Two by Marianne de Pierres (Paperback - 6 Nov 2008)
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