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Resenting the Hero

by Moira J Moore

(Ace, US$7.50/Canada$9.99, 292 pages, paperback, 2006.)

Review by Elizabeth Barrette

cover scanThis 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.

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