Watcher’s Web (Return of the Aghyrians: Young Adult Science Fiction Book 1) Kindle Edition
Oh man can Jansen create aliens and space-societies that tickle my socio-anthropology heart. The Pengali aliens, the Avya powers, the hidden frieze depicting the Aghyrians coming to the planet, the traders, and the Mirani-Coldi political manuevering makes this book a complex read.
And it starts out with Jessica, who is tall and awkward and boyish, and who has been fighting this weird tendency to zap things her whole life. She gets on a plane, and weird stuff happens, and all of a sudden she’s not in Kansas anymore, but on a whole different planet trying to survive, and even more importantly, trying to figure out who to trust.
The first half of the book is solid adventure coupled with the aformentioned alien societies that are cool to find out about.
And Jessica isn’t your usual Mary Sue. She’s cranky, and she isn’t fond of being manipulated, and I love that.
The second half of the book, once she’s grown to love the Pengali and has to decide between a silver-haired trader and a mysterious man whose thoughts she keeps invading….gets a tad confusing and somewhat disjointed at times. I felt like we skipped around from scene to scene and I wasn’t sure, because of the whole “hanging out in other people’s heads” thing if we were in real time or vision time sometimes. And also, I didn’t like that the story manuevered Jessica into two relationships back to back within a day or two ( I think) where she was manipulated by pheromones to be with her two guys. Hmmm….I guess I wanted more agency and development of those relationships instead of Jessica being forced into them by biology.
But it didn’t bother me enough that I wouldn’t go seek out the next book in the series. And since this is Patty Jansen, this book was free for signing up for her newsletter. I heartily recommend it 🙂