The Girls From Alcyone

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by Cary Caffrey



This book really captured my attention as I started it. The story of Sigrid, sold into a mercenary guild for what is essentially an experiment, was riveting, especially as she matured in the school, developmentally behind the other girls, bullied, and missing her family. This was as good as anything in print that I have read recently. However, as the book progressed, I became a little less enamored with the book. It was still good, but it morphed from a telling, character-driven story to a standard pulp space opera. As a space opera, it did work, but it was just a bit of a let-down.

The action was pretty non-stop once Sigrid came into her full abilities, even if much of that action was a rather far-fetched. Then again, pulp scifi was often far-fetched, so I guess it comes with the territory. The physics of the story, when they were explained, were not very accurate, and the ease of evading capture by climbing an elevator shaft was a very big reach. But all of these just had to be accepted for the story to flow.

Characterization, so good in the beginning, fell by the wayside. Sigrid became one-dimensional, Suko and especially Sara became caricatures, and all Karen, an officer in the mighty Kimura company seemed to do was to squeak and scream out her alarm at anything that happened.

Their was one sexual scene described, and that seemed well-done to me, a natural part of the story. After that, though, the numerous instances of gratuitous nudity and even "moist kisses' in the midst of life-threatening situations seemed rather forced and even like a juvenile boy's fantasies.

Despite some of the issues, I still think this is a good book.  Part of that is because of the high standards of the first part of the book, part because it was well-edited. But most of that was despite my problems with the book, I could ignore most of them (well, maybe not the "moist kisses") and just go with the flow. The author has a talent with the written word, and once I was drawn in, I had to keep going to complete the tale. I enjoyed it, and a reader can't ask for much more than that.

This is not a great literary tome. But it is a fun romp and as such, I would recommend it to others.


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