Resenting the Hero
(Ace, US$7.50/Canada$9.99, 292 pages, paperback, 2006.)
book is a wry twist on classic fantasy, but it's actually science fantasy.
It takes place on a planet settled by starfaring folk -- but the planet
didn't like them or their technology. Violent weather, cataclysmic earthquakes
and tidal wave, and volcanic eruptions wiped out most of the technology.
The settlers either left, or adapted. The most interesting adaptation
came in the form of Sources and Shields: people whose psychic powers
can quell the disasters. The Source generates and directs the power;
the Shield protects the Source from energy overload; and bonded pairs
are a vital resource.
Dunleavy Mallorough is a talented Shield, with dreams of honorable
service once chosen. But all that goes awry when she is chosen -- by
Shintaro Karish, the "Stallion of the SS," a powerful Source
and notorious rakehell. He's the one everybody else wanted, and as far
as Dunleavy is concerned, they can have him. She's not happy to be stuck
with him. Yet the two of them land an excellent first assignment in
one of the "hot spots" that requires several pairs to oversee.
Then a devastating cataclysm strikes at their post, leaving the other
pairs dead or disabled, and only Dunleavy and Karish able to serve.
They begin to suspect something out of the ordinary lies behind it,
but the search for answers will lead them to unexpected places.
Resenting the Hero is a funny book with occasional dramatic
spans. The main charm comes from the characterization, watching Dunleavy
snub Karish and Karish try to deal with someone who is Not Impressed
by him. This is a good choice for a rainy afternoon when you just want
to kick back and relax. Recommended.