- Mass Market Paperback: 324 pages
- Publisher: Ace Books (May 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441006167
- ISBN-13: 978-0441006168
- Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.3 x 22.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,814,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Wrapt in Crystal (Ace Science Fiction) Mass Market Paperback – 1 May 1999
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Interfed Agent Cowen Drake journeys to a distant, unfamiliar world ruled by a stark spirituality to catch a serial killer preying on the priestesses of the planet's two religions only, to find himself caught between two remarkable women and torn between duty and desire.
Top Customer Reviews
A serial killer is stalking the prietesses, killing first a Triumphante, then a Fidele, in turn. Six women are now dead, and the plantary authorities are at a loss. Enter Interfed Agent Cowen Drake. A cunning professional, he must immense himself in an unfamiliar world of stark spirituality to catch the killer. A world that would trap him between opulence and sacrifice, between duty and desire, and between two extraordinary women -- one who could become the killer's ultimate victim ..."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Sex- A couple of scenes that were not detailed or grafic. Some great kisses. References to prostitution. Sex without marriage.
Violence- This book is about a serial killer so there is some deaths that are not to detailed. But there are some scenes in the book where they go to slums and there is killing and violence. There is a brutal beating of a woman that is sad but not so detailed that it is disturbing.
Language- There is some swearing by the rough crowd in the book so it is scattered and not by our main characters. F word, B word and some sexual slang.
Only this book is different. To summarize-"Wrapt in Crystal" is about a planet that is on the verge on joining a confederation of planets (think Star Trek) and brining with it a much wealthier planet. But this planet has some reservations. So when priestesses of the major religion on the planet, from both sects of the religion, start turning up murdered the planetary forces strike a deal. A Moonchild investigator (the moonchildren are like the space police) will come and solve the serial killings, and then maybe the planet will federate.
So we meet Cowen Drake, a man who lost his faith a long time ago. Like all of Shinn's heroes he is selfless, smart, charming, and more than a little bit damaged. He's also puzzled about the murdered because on Semay (the planet) the priestesses are sacred and off limits to any kind of violence. There is no discernable reason anyone would want to kill either a joy worshiping Triumphante or a more solemn Fidele. In fact the only clue he has to this mystery is one that doesn't even fit the puzzle-a young Triumphante priestess who disappeared into thin air after unspeakable tragedy.
And as he learns the language and culture of the planet, and becomes friends with two very different amazing priestess ("as different as joy and sorrow") the murdered is coming closer and closer to what he seeks....
I say this book is different because of the spiritual nature of it. Shinn obviously put in a lot of thought to the religion she created and the culture it serves. Not only that but the book raises some interesting issues in and off itself about faith and it is a double edges sword: how easy it is to lose it, or lose yourself in it to avoid life altogether. There's also a current running through this book about light and redemption that is-well, almost spooky because of how appealing it is. I would recommend this book for that aspect along, although the mystery isn't that bad. I figured it out before Drake did, but he was a little distracted, and too be fair I didn't have every element figured out.
So in the end this is a book worth reading. Tragic heroes do have their place after all, and Drake is a great example of that. And the ending is amazing.
I was unsure what to expect from this novel which is a stand alone story unrelated to her other series. It is a very different kind of story from what I usually expect from her. I can't say I enjoyed it as much as her 12 Houses and Archangel series but I did enjoy it on its own merits and thought it was worth a 5 star rating.
If you like her other books you will probably like this one. If you're looking for the most exciting, most adventuresome who done it in town this isn't it. If you are on the fence about buying it I would say take the chance. I was pleasantly surprised when I did.