Synopsis: For centuries, Master System ruled unchallenged. Then a small band of renegades commandeered the spaceship Thunder and fled into pirate territory. Now they are prepared to seize the five coded rings that together could shut down Master System - and return human destiny to human control. With them went the one variable that didn't figure in Master System's equations: Vulture, a shapechanger capable of absorbing the body and memories of any other organic being. Without the information Vulture could collect, the rebels could never infiltrate the worlds where the rings where hidden. Each ring was better protected than the last. And as each ring drew the band further into Master System's web, Vulture became aware of a possibly more insidious danger. An unknown entity with the power to elude Master System seemed to be giving the rebels an unseen hand. But the question was - whose side was it on?... (from the back of the book)
Review: Admittedly, my expectations for this work were mixed. The first two where interesting and engaging, and I figured this one would be the same. And yet, several reviews mentioned this as the weakest of the four. For my part, I found it as good as the previous two, but in a different way. Chalker spends most of the book exploring two cultures, how biology and gender and form and birth and mind form the basics of any society. While this may seem boring to some, I found it interesting. Chalker didn't get verbose, exploring through action and dialogue, not long-winded paragraphs. The plot moved briskly enough and left at a lovely cliff-hanger. I'm eager for the final installation.
Bookmarks: 7 of 10
Date Finished: 4-15-2015