Rating: 5 of 5
Author: Karen Wyle
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Communicating with the planet’s indigenous species – the Tofa – was close to impossible for the human colony. As a result, it was inevitable that tensions between the two races continued to escalate. If there was going to be long term success and at least a neutral if not successful partnership between Tofa and Humans, something different needed to be tried. One scientist – Mara Cadell – suggests something radical – an experiment of sorts – but one that could forever change the interaction between species and potentially create a new ruling class. Working on the theory that twin born children share a special bond of communication due to their unique shared experience, Cadell hypothesizes that a human / Tofa twin pair could potentially form bounds, empathy, and communications not otherwise possible. But Dr. Cadell has a secret that neither the Tofa or Human know – a secret that could either spell success for her experiment or result in its failure.
Karen Wyle’s “Twin Bred” is a richly unique and imaginative look into the challenges of first contact with an alien species. This is not a laser gun, spaceship, shoot ‘em up popcorn flick of a novel, but a well paced progression into an intriguing situation of two species hesitant and more than just a little suspicious of one another. Wyle crafts a tale following the grand experiment first through the chosen mothers of each species then the eventual birth and cohabitation and maturation of the offspring and their challenges. Though there is little in the way of action to drive the plot forward, I could not put down Twin-Bred in much the same way I was addicted to Nathan Lowell’s Trader Tales series.
The story’s uniqueness and Wyle’s ability to carefully inject numerous thought provoking concepts were the reasons I had to give this five stars though I would have liked a stronger climax and ending. And while the main story arc is complete, I see how a series could be made from this concept (which I would gladly read). If you like works from Heinlein and Lowell, I think you will definitely enjoy Twin-Bred.
Note: A complimentary copy this novel was provided in return for a review.