The Bandwagon reviewer Georgia May Goodall reviews Tacenda by Christine Jayne Vann.
Georgia is new to the book reviewing game, but definitely not new to books. She has a passion for anything with magic, mythical creatures or futuristic tech, but is also partial to some cunning crime.
She works in marketing by day, and is more prone to editing stories than writing them, but loves being involved at every level of book production – from start to finish.
Follow her on Twitter for general waffle about books, food and dramatic life events like your sock coming off in your shoe: @g_may_g
Christine Jayne Vann is a web developer, hedgehog owner and avid geocacher from the Outer Hebrides. She has been described as an author who “celebrates diversity” and from what I’ve read she is off to a great start.
This is Vann’s second book (though she’s no stranger to short stories and anthologies across many genres) and the first in a series following the lives of inter-species partnership Kerris and Arucken.
Now, I tend to be a fan of any story with interplanetary travel so I have previously read many books with a similar theme, but Vann’s manages to be original and unique and she shows great promise as a fantasy/sci-fi author.
Tacenda focuses on the experimental partnership between human Karris and nestling Arucken, whose two species seem to have a tense past. The duo are part of an experiment by Arucken’s people that involves living and working together aboard a sentient spaceship – and seemingly testing how the two species can work together and communicate; telepathy included. They face some adversity from other characters throughout the book and their blossoming friendship and its trials make for a great and intriguing storyline. I would have liked some more background on both species, their problems and the experiment itself but I’m hoping this comes in the further books. Vann is giving us enough information to leave us wanting more, but almost not enough to satisfy my curiosity. Who/what are the Concordat? How do they work? What is the “purge” that gets mentioned multiple times but never explained?
In Tacenda, the first of the Pairing series, the odd pair are sent on a somewhat misleading mission to a new colony of human settlers – they are lead to believe they are purely helping the colonists settle in, but they’ve been lead into the midst of an even bigger interspecies conflict than their own. Children are being taken, people’s minds are being wiped, and not everybody will survive the attacks.
Vann’s writing is oddly disjointed at times and could definitely do with some refining, but it was a short read that kept me hooked throughout, left me wanting to know more and – a key aim of most authors, I’m sure – made me want to read the second book to find out more about this world, it’s fascinating new species and Kerris and Arucken’s ongoing experiment.