19 June 2013

Review: Gethyon by Pippa Jay

His father died. His mother abandoned him. In the depths of space, darkness seeks him.

Abandoned by his mother after his father’s death, Gethyon Rees feels at odds with his world and longs to travel the stars. But discovering he has the power to do so leaves him scarred for life. Worse, it alerts the Siah-dhu—a dark entity that seeks his kind for their special abilities—to his existence, and sets a bounty hunter on his trail.

When those same alien powers lead Gethyon to commit a terrible act, they also aid his escape. Marooned on the sea-world of Ulto Marinos, Gethyon and his twin sister must work off their debt to the Seagrafter captain who rescued them while Gethyon puzzles over their transportation. How has he done this? And what more is he capable of?

Before he can learn any answers, the Wardens arrive to arrest him for his crime. Can his powers save him now? And where will he end up next?

I love that I can always trust Pippa Jay for a kick-ass science fiction experience, and Gethyon doesn’t disappoint. The book takes place before Keir (which I loved), and tells the story of Gethyon, son of Quin, who is one of my favorite heroines period. Like Quin, Gethyon has the ability to open gateways that allow him to travel through both space and time. Unlike Quin, Geth can open these gateways at will.

One of my favorite parts of Gethyon is the mass amount of world-building that Jay has put into this story. Each world Geth travels to is completely unlike the last one. There are no repeated landscapes or similar descriptions—every planet is fresh and unique.

I particularly enjoyed the time-bending Geth ends up doing. The concept is amazing and something I hope Jay pursues in subsequent works. I also hope to see a point when Gethyon, Quin, and Keir are together. They’d make an interesting little family…

Speaking of family, I really loved the dynamic between Gethyon, his twin sister and his grampa. Jay did a great job of painting Geth as the misunderstood outsider. He has a little spark of Annakin Skywalker—and I did wonder if he’d go to the “dark side” a few times—but manages to redeem himself. Each of them is a complex character, flawed and as human as the person sitting next to you. Gethyon is not a long book, so this is definitely evocative of Jay’s skill.

 And we have to talk about the villain—the Siah-dhu, the creepiest freaking thing I’ve read about in a long time. It’s just a big hulking darkness that’s been trailing Quin for years, and now it’s after Geth. His first real encounter with this thing? CREEPY. The hairs on my arms stood up. No joke.

Pippa Jay is an incredibly talented writer and knows her way around the many worlds science fiction can create, but she still manages to make them accessible. Gethyon is a fast-paced, exciting read with characters you'll grow to care about. 

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