Wings of Creation (The Silver Ship)
by Brenda Cooper
Cover Artist: Stephan Martiniere
Review by Mel Jacob
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765320957
Date: 10 November 2009 List Price $27.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
In Brenda Cooper's third Silver Ship novel, Wings of Creation, Chelo Lee, her brother Joseph, and their extended family flee the isolated planet Fremont after defeating the Star Mercenaries sent to destroy all humans there. On their flight to Silver's Home, a messenger drone sent by Joseph's mentor Marcus intercepts them with a new destination. The Port Authority has declared Joseph and soon Chelo wanted persons and issued arrest warrants. Marcus joins them, and they begin a new journey to a destination only he knows. He warns Joseph one faction on Silver's Home wants him dead along with Marcus and his companion Jenna.
A war threatens the Five Planets, with Isla seeking to control the others. Marcus hopes to prevent this and has brokered a deal with the fliers of Lopali, a moon modified to support life and their home. In exchange for genetic alterations that will enable the fliers to reproduce, they will support Silver's Home against the Islans in the coming war.
Fliers are created on Silver's Home and then further modified to fly in the light gravity of Lopali, but almost 40 percent die. Others survive, but may lose their wings. Few young fliers exist. While all fliers want to reproduce, not all want to join the war.
The story comes from Chelo, Joseph, and Alicia, Joseph's lover. Chelo wants a home and no war. Joseph wants to keep his family safe and fly space ships. A Wind Reader, he and Kayleen, a member of Chelo's little family, ride the data nets. Joseph also tries to teach Kayleen to fly space ships. She has trouble not getting lost in the data streams. These two are key to modifying flier genetics to enable successful reproduction.
A risk taker, Alicia wants to become a flier. Her efforts to master wings used by non-modified humans to fly leave her dissatisfied. She also has a mod that allows her to become invisible, a trait shared by her friend Induan. Alicia grows jealous of Kayleen and resents the time demanded of Joseph by Marcus to complete the genetic mods to the fliers.
Meanwhile, both those from Isla and Silver's Home hunt the family, especially Joseph and Chelo. Part of the family disappears leaving no trace of their whereabouts. Trying to evade capture and complete the genetic mods, Joseph wonders whom he can trust.
Cooper provides interesting characters and a fascinating world. However, Joseph, while expressing concern over Chelo and Alicia, seems to operate at an emotional remove. Chelo's feelings for her family drive her to seek them despite the dangers. Alicia remains ambiguous. The ending of the novel leaves plenty of scope to continue the series and Cooper has indicated plans to do so.