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A Listener 2003 Best Book Of The Year

Joshua Carter Star Prime

Balliage Engine Room
Balliage Engine Room

It is the Galactic Standard year 542 - a time when the Bloc, a multi-specie alliance, is attempting to use its collective power to contain the expansionist tendencies of the mighty Ordartion Empire. The only solution is to convince the Valsoo to join the Bloc and force a cease fire in their border war with the Ordartion Empire.

Joshua Carter, an ambitious career officer, discovers a stowaway during a space survey mission in deepspace aboard the Bloc science vessel Balliage. The stowaway is a terrified child, Roivan, of unknown species and origin, who displays a powerful telekinetic ability.

In spite of Carter's bachelor lifestyle and complete ignorance of children he manages to convince Roivan to come out of hiding. He begins to develop a relationship with her but beyond the fact that she is in exile and has been teleporting between ships for a long time in an attempt to reach human space, he is able to discover little about her.

Matters first come to a head when Roivan begins to sing and in doing so shuts down the ship's capacity to access exponential light speed. Carter is forced to balance his responsibility as the ship's Prime against his instincts that the child is not intending them any harm. When they return to populated space, Carter convinces Roivan to stay aboard, however her telepathic and telekinetic abilities continue to cause problems.

Roivan throughout is working to her own agenda. She knows that she has an appointed task and destiny but is only dimly aware of what it is. She has to balance the instructions Qirl had placed into her mind with the conflicting loyalties brought about by her developing relationship with Carter and the security he offers.



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