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    Review of CONTACT IMMINENT by Kristine Smith (see her website)

    EOS, October 2003

    Review by Jennifer Vilches

    Jani is the first genetically-engineered human-idomeni hybrid. Humans and idomeni do not have idyllic relations and Jani is not completely trusted on either side. She does serve as a bridge for communications. CONTACT IMININENT begins with an attempted mine disposal on the grounds of the idomeni enclave near Chicago. The deaths resulting from the explosion of the mine increase the tension between the two races. Xenophobic zealots on both sides are plotting death and destruction.

    Tsecha, Jani's idomeni dominant, asks her to travel to the planet Elyas in his place, to try to stave off civil war among the idomeni. She travels with Niall Pierce, a Service officer, and John Shroud, the doctor who saved her life by making her a hybrid. Before they leave, they discover the possibility that there might be another hybrid on Elyas. Upon arrival, Jani is thrust into the middle of the leadership crisis and the related existance of an entire enclave of hybrids. Jani must remain independent of the two factions and act quickly to keep peace among the idomeni.

    In the meantime, Jani's friend Lucien remains on Earth to investigate the mine explosion. In the process, he finds a human plot to attack the embassy in order to drive the idomeni out of human space. While trying to warn the embassy about the attack, he is challenged to a duel by the hostile idomeni Ghos. Jani and Niall have to race back to Earth, hopefully in time for the duel and the attack.

    Author Kristine Smith does and excellent job presenting a complex and well-realized alien culture, complete with religion and politics. Jani is a very strong character who is strugging with her identity as a hybrid. Smith gives us a good view of Jani's internal turmoil as she deals with her human and idomeni relationships. The supporting cast is fairly well developed, although without reading the previous novels, their motivations aren't always clear.

    Contact Imminent is the fourth novel in the Jani Kilian series. It can be read stand-alone, but the start can seem a little slow as you figure out the backstory from clues. Once you get settled in and comfortable with the setting, the story takes off and it's hard to put down.

    See more reviews of novels by Kristine Smith.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 1/25/04

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