Shielder (Shielder Series, Book 1) - Catherine Spangler

Not *quite* a 4 but close enough.

 

The good news - a futuristic with no noticeable Star Wars influence. Yay.

 

Alright. Our h is...epileptic I guess, and was severely injured at 12 when she had a seizure. Her people don't have the resources to support those who are...damaged, so she's cast out. At 12. At least she wasn't euthanized. Someone engineered a virus that's specific to her people so she volunteers to be a host and carry said virus to a lab somewhere far away. In an ancient shuttle that breaks down 2 days out.

 

Enter our H. Because of his apparent occupation, she does not trust him with knowledge of what she is, or what her real mission is. And...he's taking his own sweet time to take her where she needs to go. It's almost a comedy of errors - she tries several times to sneak off so she can hopefully gain passage (she's on a time limit here). One time she saves his life, the other, she acquires a couple of kids of her own race from a slaver. And that time had the amusing side effect of his trying to replace her apparently dead pet with another and inadvertently bonding it to him - problem since he's allergic to them.

Eventually, she steals his ship - this means war - and they're both taken into detention. He assumes it's because of her but it's not. He's alerted to the virus and a cure is created at the 11th hour.

 

There were moments where I was convinced our h was TSTL - he told her those places were not safe, yet she left the ship anyway. OTOH, her presence was fortuitous in both instances. So... I'm torn. I find it irritating when heroines do that - go exactly where they were told not to go due to risks involved. Then again...she did keep someone from sneaking up on him, and she did rescue those kids, so...

 

The H...admitted that he was afraid to face his failure - he was a famous Dr who'd thrown in the scalpel after the same person engineered a virus that killed of his people - he was unable to stop it and couldn't handle it. At least he did face himself eventually.

 

Issues... there was a distinct lack of world building. What is a Shielder? What are Controllers? What...? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!?!?!?

 

I'm used to the modern series. The first one, the story is often sacrificed to world building (wish they'd just make book 1 longer buuut), and only later books are so story driven (unless you're certain authors who can't seem to stay focused and thus have bits and pieces of *everything* scattered in each book.) This... lack of info is jarring. Frustrating too. Ah well; one can hope the other 4 books in the series manage to leak enough details that I can figure it out before I finish the series.