Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Review: Highsong


By:  Laura Jennings

Publish Date:  April 28, 2011

Format:  eBook, 73pgs

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  1st in Highsong series

Recommendation:  You enjoy short soft science fiction reads? This one is for you. With dolphins, Orcas, and a powerful enemy on a new planet.

Sia is a Risen, a genetically engineered, sapient, and psychic dolphin on board a science-ship sent to check the stability of a terraformed planet, Ptaal, that lost contact with the Ninth Democracy 300 years before.

Also on board is her human friend, Harp, the result of an illegal experiment that attempted to make a psychic human.

Both of them look forward to their first mission, because none of the alien Viciss show signs of targeting Ptaal.

Sia and Harp are wrong.

Because the Viciss aren’t coming.

They’ve already arrived.

First Sentence:
The Trellia had a song all its own.

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**I read this book for an honest review from the author.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Harp and Sia are aboard Trellia heading to Ptaal to research the planet the Democracy has lost touch with over three hundred years ago. They are part of a crew that is to confirm the ecological stability and that there are no Viciss, the dark and dangerous enemy to humans and all kinds. When they arrive Ptaal, things are not as they thought. Sia, being a Data Scout dolphin and keeps all the data, is evacuated from the ship to try and save the data. Harp, a blind genius boy who has his own psychic abilities due to an illegal testing, is left on the ship and has to find a way to fend off the enemy to save what's left of his mothers crew. The Highsong is hard for both to reach, but is the only way to stop the enemy...even if it means their own lives.

A story of inner and physical obstacles that must be beaten. Harp and Sia are different yet very much the same. Both are stubborn. Harp is a young blind boy that was found by Captain Cait Hess. She adopted him and he's been trying to control the test that was done to him. He now has a ring around his head that tells when he's close to having a fit, when his mindsong becomes strong, and could kill him with the fluctuation of it. The Orca Highsonger and warrior helps him get through these episodes. Sia is a Data Scout who surveys and retrieves data, also helps with Harp's fits, but she's not as strong as her teacher Locuxu yet.

I found this to be light in science fiction. Harp has Braille generators on his wrists and the halo anchored to his head. There is talk of the planet Ptaal that was terraformed. Even the breathing ring apparatus the dolphins wear. But the science is light when it comes to it. Easy to understand. There is talk of Highsong, mindsong, and Onesong in the book. You learn as you go what they are. But in general they are psychic songs that are sung that the Risen can hear and use.

I am very much an ocean lover, particularly dolphins and orcas. So for me it was neat to see a way was found to communicate with them. It is neat that through this Highsong and socorder to see them speak to humans.

There is danger here, both internal and external. Internal for Harp and Sia, external for them and the rest of the crew and inhabitants of the planet. This is an interesting start to a new idea with psychic and song communication. I'm curious to learn more.


  1. What an intriguing cover! But well... space? well I really have some difficulties with these kinds of books...

    1. Melliane, I hate to even mention space in this review. The book doesn't read like a hard core space science fiction at all. And it's novella short too. :)

  2. Now I remember a show where there were dolphins...I miss that show. I never did watch the end of anything before

    1. Oh yes, an underwater station, Blodeuedd? I remember one with dolphins too. And...I don't think I ever saw the end, or remember it. :)

  3. I wanted to be a cetacean biologist when I was a kid, so it appeals to me as well. :D I do like sci-fi and even if it is light, it still sounds good. Thanks for putting this on my radar.

    1. Melissa (B&T) I think that would have been the dream job. :) Hope you give it a try. Thank you.

  4. not sure I can get behind a series with genetically altered undersea friends but I will admit the cover is quite lovely. I love the color choice...definitely sets the place right from the start. Thanks for the share!

    1. Gina R. - they really don't do any alterations that we see, like testing. That's not what happens here. They work with humans. The color of the cover is neat. :) Thank you.

  5. wow, this is a really out there concept. Now I am interested.

    1. Jennifer Bielman, glad you like the sounds. :) Thank you!


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