Grounded!

Chris Claremont, Author Ace Books $5.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-441-30416-5
In his sequel to sp ok/pk FirstFlight, Claremont is still obviously inspired by Vonda N. McIntyre and C. J. Cherryh, but this time around he avoids slavish imitation. This new offering sees Lt. Nicole Shea, her certification to fly in space revoked after the stressful events of FirstFlight , working on the first joint spacecraft-building effort between humans and the alien Halyan't'a (yet another feline species). Nicole discovers that a seeming accident that occurred near the end of FirstFlight was actually an attempt on her life linked pk to an attempt to assassinate the U.S. president and destroy relations between humanity and the aliens. All of the characters, even incidental ones, are convincing, and the story progresses at a brisk pace with each chapter relating a separate incident yet remaining connected with the whole (a style no doubt culled from the author's monthly comic-book background). The problems are Claremont's predilection for awkward parenthetical phrases, his lengthy narratives on the intricacies of Nicole's flying--in or above the atmosphere--and a pk predictable plot. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
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