Note: Teresa is no longer a member of this group.
Madison wrote: "The inbreeding theory is very interesting. Is this something they talk about in the series or is it something you inferred from the series? "
I think I used the wrong term there - not necessarily inbreeding but more like "keeping it in the same race." Later in the series it goes into more details about how the Psy are proud of their legacy and they want to keep their special powers pure and stronger by not breeding outside of the Psy race. I personally think that instead of initiating Silence - which seems super extreme - they should have sucked up possibly weakening their powers and diluted some of the crazy out of their gene pool.
It goes into more detail later in the series about why they chose Silence ... and what happened to the psy who did not choose to live that way. I think their choice becomes somewhat credible - though I did wonder why they didn't experiment with some other less drastic methods.
I think what happened was a result of a sort of inbreeding - and could have been overcome with more psy/changeling psy/human couples.
F'Lar - Dragonriders of Pern
Damon - Vampire Diaries (tv)
Richard Cypher - Legend of the Seeker (tv)
Obi wan Kenobi - ok maybe I just like Ewan McGregor
Kyo Sohma - Fruits Basket
Language is very autopilot / habitual. Personally, I would never be able to keep straight when to use and not use emotive terms. And the PSY are people - not genius aliens, just people with some special psychic powers.
Mell wrote: "First point, if you are a bunch of emotionless or Vulcan like logic machines why would you use phrases like “I would be happy to help” or “I am afraid not” “my mother wouldn’t like that” really?"
I think the PSY kept the speech patterns with emotional cues on purpose because their #1 goal in life is to do business and make money - and they do better business with the humans and changelings if they use relatable language. The series also mentions 2 of the councilors appearing as a married couple specifically for this purpose.
I don't think Silence was introduced to specifically stop serial killers. It was meant to stop violence in general. It just didn't work 100% since serial killers motives are not based on emotion.
While everyone on the council seems like dangerous murderers, I don't think they are all serial killers. I just think they kill for power - which you would think is tied to emotions? Nikita definitely murdered her way to the top - but I got the impression that the general psy population was not aware of the murder. She made her victims look like they died of natural or accidental causes. The other people on the council suspect her, but they can't prove anything.
I did notice that the leopard "pack" and the wolf pack does have some differences in the book that maybe fits a little more with nature. It seems like the wolves all live together in a cave and have little to no privacy. The leopards on the other hand are very spread out with private homes in secluded areas of the forest. So even though they are a "pack", they are living individually.
I didn't feel like the series as a whole tried to pigeon-hole females into stereotypical roles. Just wait until you get to the one about Mercy's story. She is dominant and badass, and holds a position of rank in her pack. And her grandmother is the alpha of another leopard pack in South America.
Also the females do get a say in the mating dance. It can't happen unless both sides agree.
I keep thinking of the Psy as the Borg too! The difference being that they still keep their individuality and have suppressed emotions deep down.
Dan - I just finished the second book in the series and it addresses some of the same questions/thoughts you have about the violent nature of the changelings, and the Psy not being all bad.
I don't want to give away any spoilers though!
Some of the narrative around Lucas hinted that it was destiny. He didn't want to even -meet- his mate, b/c he knew once he was found he was stuck with her. But then at the same time, it didn't feel like it was destiny when they met. There was some initial attraction - but no one was saying "you are mine, you are the one!" right away.
I loved this book! And I loved that they were cat-people. The only thing that bothered me was that they kept calling their group a "Pack" - which makes sense for the wolf group. But shouldn't leopards be a "Prowl" ?
I love love love Jean M Auel's Clan of the Cavebear Series!
Strong female character, coming of age story, unique perspective into the past, a little bit of mystical element, and lots of steamy caveman sex (after she becomes an adult).