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3 September 2012

softcover, published by Peggy Bright Books 2009, classified YA.

I bought this in June while I was in Australia at Continuum 8, their Natcon. And up front let me say that while it may be classified as YA (“young adult” for anyone who doesn’t know) this adult found it more than readable. In fact it’s going to my permanent shelves as soon as I finish this review. I hope to read it many more times over the years and I believe that I’ll enjoy it each time I do.

Uki is a Japanese teenager. Targe is a whale. Under normal circumstances they’d never meet, but when Uki steals a proprietary file Targe has created and she is caught by the authorities, Targe somehow finds that he’s agreed to have her join him on his spaceship and tour with him as he and his friend Charlie the dolphin take whale songs to the galaxy that is enchanted by them. This is the story of how two very different creatures find that they have things in common, discover that they can work together, and that two beings can produce something that is far more than the sum of one plus one.

But don’t be fooled, this isn’t always a sweet story. Uki’s parents, while not deliberately cruel to her, have no time, and less interest in the child they produced. At the time of the events Uki is fourteen, emotionally malnourished, and without direction. Some of the things she and Targe do to each other are brutal. neither intend to be quite so savage, but both at various times fail to understand the depth of hurt in the other. This is a good solid work. The characters are clearly written, well-rounded, and – even when being throughly bratty or unpleasant – understandable as to motive and ultimately likeable. I’d enjoy another book using them and hope one may eventuate sometime. Recommended.






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