Theo Waitley has lived all her young life on Delgado, a Safe World that is home to one of the galaxy's premier institutions of higher learning. Both Theo's mother, Kamele, and Kamele's onagrata Jen Sar Kiladi, are professors at the university, and they all live comfortably together, just like they have for all of Theo's life, in Jen Sar's house at the outskirts of town. Suddenly, though, Theo's life changes. Kamele leaves Jen Sar and moves herself and Theo back into faculty housing, which is not what Theo is used to.
Once settled back inside the Wall, Kamele becomes embroiled in faculty politics, and is appointed sub-chair of her department. Meanwhile, Theo who has a notation in her file indicating that she is "physically challenged," has a series of misadventures, including pulling her best friend down on the belt-ride to class, and hurting a teammate during a savage game. With notes piling up in her file, Theo only wants to go "home", to the house in the suburbs, and have everything just like it used to be.
Then, Kamele uncovers evidence of possible dishonest scholarship inside of her department. In order to clear the department, she and a team of senior professors must go off-world to perform a forensic document search. Theo hopes this will mean that she'll be left in the care of the man she calls "Father", Professor Kiladi, and is horrified to learn that Kamele means to bring Theo with her!
©2009 Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
Theo Waitley, the child of two scholars on the matriarchal world of Safe Delgado, finds her life falling apart as her mother decides to leave the genetic scholar Jen Sar's house and move into an apartment in the Wall. Theo does not want to leave Jen Sar's comfortable house and garden. She also does not want to leave her father with who she has an attachment unusual on Delgardo.
However Theo has problems of her own including a notation in her file that she was physically challenged. As a result of this she is frequently in danger of losing status and companionship. It is when her mother's duties as a scholar result in the two of them having to leave Delgardo to allow her mother to investigate a serious breach of scholarship, that Theo starts to understand that there are dangers beyond a bit of clumsiness on a moving sidewalk.
Meanwhile Jen Sar is also pursuing his own path.
And Theo's all important fifteenth birthday is approaching.
I ended up thinking that this first volume in Theo's story is one that reminded me of the best of Robert Heinlein or Andre Norton's juveniles.
The narration is truly excellent. I think I enjoyed listening to Eileen Stevens read the book more than I enjoyed reading it myself. One of my tests for excellence of narration is to try to read a chapter without hearing the voice of the narrator in my head. If I cannot put aside the voice of the narrator then I know I have had a great listening experience.
This book is the start of the answer to a Character's comment at the end of I Dare.
The Narrator caught the sweep of Theo and her complex interactions and the start of her flowering. I'm so delighted to finally have acess to one of my favorite books in the Liaden Universe in audio. I watched this story take shape in the weekly chapter postings.
This book can stand alone but the rest of the series is enhanced by knowledge of the Agent of Change books.
Necessity requires that I obtain all the books in this series.
Only one wish left and that is that the Chap books be produced in audio.
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