Saturday, May 17, 2014

Shadow Singer

By Marcia J. Bennett

Book 2 of the Ni-Lach
Poco and Dhalvad have a secret that they must keep hidden in order to survive. Poco is a half-blood Ni-lach and Dhalvad is a full-blood Ni-lach. Hated and feared by the humans who have settled on their world, the Ni-lach have been driven into exile by the relentless persecution of humans. Besides being Ni-lach, both Poco and Dhalvad know the location of buried Ni-lach treasure, treasure that greedy people would love to get their hands on. What those greedy ones don't know is that Dhalvad also has the healing touch, with the ability to mend wounds, knit broken bones and cure sickness which makes him more valuable than any treasure.
Finding themselves hunted by ruthless thieves, Poco and Dhalvad flee into the wilderness, trying to track down the location of the Ni-lach people who have gone into hiding. They are accompanied by two companions, Poco's friend Ssaal-Ir, an imposing and dangerous catman, and Dhalvad's childhood friend, a small, furry, intelligent being, Gi-arobi. Together they will stand against hostile humans, angry bands of cat people, and the dangerous predators of a largely unsettled world.

This book was the second in  the Ni-lach series, the first of which is Where the Ni-Lach. I did not read the first book in the series, but this one stands alone quite well. It probably would have been helpful to know the back story but not necessary, as the author does a good job at filling in the gaps without having to go into a lot of detail.
Basically a science fiction fantasy, the book has the some pretty standard elements: special people with special powers struggling against the establishment, exotic alien allies, setting out on a quest to find themselves and a place in their world, battling hostile elements and facing down vicious predators. It's all there, including a little romance. And yet somehow I found it a bit boring. Maybe it was just a little too predictable. It's an okay story but I am not interested enough in it to continue on with the series.

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