3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Biology/evolution Hard SF,
This review is from: Survival: Species Imperative #1 (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the first novel in the "Species Imperative" trilogy, but it really stands alone very well, and is probably the strongest of the three. (I read and very much enjoyed the two sequels as well.) What makes Czerneda's novels stand out from the usual Hard Science Fiction (i.e. SF where the science takes centre stage, both in plot and characterization), is that the science in question is not physics, engineering, or medicine, but biology, specifically evolutionary biology. (There also a lot of archaeology in books 2 and 3.)
The protagonist--the willful, uncompromising Mac--is a biologist; she studies salmon populations and migrations on Earth, and has almost no interest in anything outside of her very narrow field. The first part of the novel is set on a marine research base, and presents a gloriously lively, colorful and convincing picture of life in a scientific institute. You can feel that the author has science in her blood, as evolutionary theory comes to be essential to a problem which comes from far away in alien space and galactic history, but threatens not only the Earth but all the civilized Universe.
I don't want to summarize the plot here, just to say that this book is very entertaining, readable, impressively rigorous, gripping, and contains possibly my favourite alien species from any science fiction. I recommend it unreservedly.