This review is from: Transformation Space: Book Four of the Sentients of Orion (Paperback)
Dum, da, rah, dum! The end is here.
Like this ... Nova projected a grave melancholia, a vast emptiness without end that made Mira want to weep.
<you know this? little one?>
We all know. Do you feel it too?
According to answers.com the definition of melancholia is:
Melancholia brings about a form of pessimism that sees the future as blocked and unchangeable. Such pessimism is accompanied by ideas of guilt and unworthiness, which find expression through self-accusation and can even give rise to delusion. .... Mental suffering engenders a continual desire for death.
How far would we be willing to go to get out of our melancholia? At what point does the melancholia cause us to tip over the boundary of no, nos? There are plenty of stories out there about just what happens to people who end up in this valley of bleakness in their attempts to relieve the pain.
The lovely thing about fiction is that the author gets to explore such subjects. The serial Sentients of Orion has explored the issue of how far one particular non-humanesque is willing to go in order to relieve its melancholia. Because its motivations and background is foreign and more or less unknown to us, we only get to see the effects of trying to relieve its pain.
The Sacqr are one of those effects. You know, the Sacqr are seriously bad-ass. Nothing kills them, except maybe something really big stepping on them. Weapons seem to have no effect and their voraciousness has no limit. Even Rast Randall is scared shit-less by them, and Rast does not frighten easily. Being kept sensory deprived on the Post-Species vessel almost broke her but she pulled through and used her resilience to help keep the three survivors of that trip alive through Sacqr fun:
Jo-Jo's muscles twitched with an uncontrollable desire to spring at the creature. Attack it before it could find him, surprise and aggression as his weapon. Not crouch here, shitting his pants, waiting for its maw to open and the bone-piercing stamen to extend down and skewer his skull.
Jo-Jo remembered how it was: 'esque bodies flung across the floor of the food court on Dowl, Sacqr gorging on their body fluids. The adrenaline that had poured through him then now threatened to overcome his self-control, but Randall kept steady pressure on his head, pressing so hard that the pain across the bridge of his nose began to overshadow his fear.
How much garbage do you have to wade through in your life to be able to keep your cool in such a situation? There are people out there who go through similar experiences every day. Syria, Sudan and Eastern Burma spring to mind. Not much fun living there these days and I imagine what they have experienced is close to what the people of Araldis went through as it was invaded. Rast Randall had fought in plenty of conflicts/wars in her capacity as a mercenary leaving her with the tools to possibly survive what the Sacqr had to dish out.
I found myself admiring the inner strength Thales was able to dig up during "Transformation Space". When I first got to know him, Thales seemed afraid of his own shadow. Yet by the end of the tale of the Sentients of Orion Thales emerges as a person who has discovered who and what he is and what price he is willing to pay to remain that person. That journey is one we all need to make. Some of us do. Some of us don't.
Once again Marianne de Pierres caught me in the trap of her words and would not release me until "Transformation Space" was a done deal.