Title: The Ophelia Prophecy
Author: Sharon Lynn Fisher
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication date: 1 April , 2014
Copy received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Our world is no longer our own.
We engineered a race of superior fighters–the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us.
In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.
Some of us intend to do more than survive.
Asha and Pax—strangers and enemies—find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.
Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource—information—viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.
Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.
But neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.
With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other’s secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past. The Ophelia Prophecy is the thrilling new SF romance from Sharon Lynn Fisher, author of Ghost Planet
I read Sharon Lynn Fisher’s debut science fiction novel, Ghost Planet, and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to The Ophelia Prophecy. I wasn’t disappointed. Fisher’s writing is as vivid as ever, and her characters are interesting enough to stay with you long after you’ve finished the book. Asha seemed a little young to me, given she’s twenty-five in the story, although she has been living a cloistered life until she finally breaks free of Sanctuary, where she’s lived all her life. Pax is a wonderful character, constantly torn between duty and desire, fighting his heart and his head, without ever coming across as too indecisive, something Fisher doesn’t always pull off with Asha, although this is a really minor complaint.
Pax and Asha meet under strange circumstances, and Pax takes Asha off to Granada, the Manti capital. Pax’s father is the head of the Manti, the people illegally genetically engineered to be stronger, hardier than humans by mixing human and insect DNA. Their purpose? To be used as fodder for human wars; soldiers who would fight longer, win more, and were replaceable. But the Manti rose up against their human creators, in a mix of rage at their treatment and an understanding that they were the stronger species. This post-war landscape is where the story begins, with Asha living in one of the small pockets of humans left, a walled city called Sanctuary, where everyone is safe, as long as they stay within the safety of the city boundaries.
Those who don’t, disappear. Taken by the Manti.
But what was Asha doing outside the city walls, and why can’t she remember anything? Pax has a gap in his memory, too, and the two dance around each other, trying to work out where they stand, and where their loyalties lie. Because Asha soon finds out nothing she knows about her home and her family is true.
This is a post-apocalyptic book with a difference, and I found it refreshing, believable and beautifully rendered.
Reviewed by: Tara