Erfan's Reviews > Pilots Choice

Pilots Choice by Sharon Lee
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's review
Apr 26, 2008

it was amazing

Meet Daav Yos Phelium, pilot and high lord in high society of a high tech, formal world, where manners are everything - yet warm hearts and humour abound in this novel, Scout's Progress, the second of two novels in this book. And the unconventional, space-travelling cadre of pilots form the background of this story in juxtaposition with society's formality. Daav far prefers their company and once was among their number in happier days.

The key points about this book are: Romance. Warmth. Social tensions. Personal journeys and adventures.

I love this book and cannot do it or its characters justice. For those who like science fiction it has a nice background of a world belonging in a galactic set of cultures. And mathematics that cover the navigation. And a few glimpses of the airborne and space-travelling world of the space shuttles and space ships. Do not be put off! The story is far, far more about the people who fly them and who venture much further afield than the planet - but this story is planet bound.

Primarily about pilots, families and social mores this book is high romance, with tension and charm. Daav is accomplished, emotional, a good actor in a society that demands it, warm-hearted toward his kin and his friends, ruthless toward political or social enemies, and not enamoured of his own society. He aches for a child of his own and contracts an appropriate marriage for that purpose.

Aelliana is a navigational mathematician, genius and revered among pilots. Her brother feels threatened by her suitability as next leader of their House, which is the position he himself holds, but against their grandmother's opinion. Her grandmother took up with a pilot, an arranged match, that engendered Aelliana herself, but still society considers House Yos Phelium an oddity to be humoured, feared and respected but not quite respectable being all pilots, and pilots in general as too unconventional.

From the first Aelliana becomes more involved with the piloting world against her brother's will and along the way meets wonderful characters, all of whom I warmed to. She also meets Daav, his marriage already arranged, taking an informal holiday from his political responsibilities by working some hours at a pilot's shipyard.

And so the story goes, with Aelliana dealing with her brother, meeting new people, crossing a social divide, and falling in love with an impoverished pilot - alongside the growing friendship of the two protagonists, unfold a sequence of tense situations and their uncertain resolutions.

I cannot praise this book enough if you like fine turns of phrase and do not dislike romance or science fiction that does not pretend to be literary, but instead achieves lovely writing, great appeal, a well realized world, societies, and universe, good plot construction, excellent tension and plot content, and huge, huge charm.

The quietest gems I ever came across to delight on the romance front, they are far superior as a series to any romances I ever read. Plus which, wonderful adventures. And they can be bought from the publishers direct, a small publisher, as well as from bookstores, but the earlier books are wonderful, the last Crystal Soldier duology would give a wrong impression and put you off.
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message 1: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Oh, you make this sound so very appealing--I will have to put it on my to read list.

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