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Bright Shards

(The Vardeshi Saga #2)

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  28 reviews
This is the second novel in the science fiction series The Vardeshi Saga.

Linguist Avery Alcott has spent three months proving herself to her Vardeshi companions and earning their respect. She arrives at Arkhati, the space station halfway between Earth and Vardesh Prime, eager to continue her adventure. But the next stage of her mission brings its own challenges. In the
Kindle Edition, 477 pages
Published August 1st 2019 by Ink Sigil Press
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 ·  119 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Sherwood Smith
I devoured this second installment in the Vardeshi Saga--and am left hoping very strongly that there will be a third. And a fourth, and so on. There are so many tantalizing questions!

This second volume (which should not be read before the first) concerns Avery Alcott's further adventures with the beautiful, enigmatic, and complex Vardeshi, once certain events were resolved in the first book. She has a choice whether to be escorted on to Vardeshi Prime via a VIP ship, or to continue with the
S.J. Higbee
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this one on a train journey and was fully engrossed to the extent that it was a relief that I wasn’t getting off before the train terminated – because I would have been at risk of missing my station. Avery isn’t a brilliant fighter and she is often far too self-effacing. She is stubbornly loyal, to the point where she is blind to the wider picture and given that she is part of an extended first-contact exchange visit, this isn’t just a quirky cuteness – it’s a major failing. And yet… I ...more
I am hooked. New author? Indi author? Don't let that scare you away, this lady can write!

In the first book of the series, Ascending, an alien race returned after 25 years to earth and agreed to some kind of student exchange program with Earth. Linguist Avery has spend her life learning the language, and now she is the only person fluent in it, granting her a place on one of the alien ships in an inter-racial student exchange.
I would recommend reading this first book before going into the next.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been hooked on SF for over 60 years. I have seen a trend away from Science towards Fantasy which I regret. So I really enjoy the way this fully Science Fiction series thoughtfully contrasts an alien culture with our own. Many serious first contact SF books tend to focus on conflict, this focuses on challenging relationships. Because I liked the first book so much, I asked for and received an advanced review copy of Bright Shards. I think Bright Shards fulfils and continues all the promise ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received and ARC of this book. I’m very happy I received it, because I couldn’t wait for Bright Shards to come out.

The story starts with Avery and the rest of the crew landing on Arkathi, a major starhaven in the Vardeshi territory. I was very eager when I started reading Bright Shards because I wanted to know how the story would go on after Ascending, but I was a little bit disappointed at first because in the beginning, there aren’t that much new developments in my opinion. Still, I wanted
Katarina Kirgan
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved it!
While reading I was laughing, I was crying, I was intrigued, I was biting-my-nails anxious! And also the love story was great! I can't wait for more!
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Not all those who wander are lost

Avery is still on her Vardeshi voyage. Fraught with hazard, so far she has survived anti-alliance sabotage and near death. Docking on the star base was a layover while the trial over Vekesh commenced and they were either granted a new ship or were sent off on new assignments. Pinion was too badly damaged to continue as is, and the trustworthiness of her crew needed to be analyzed. What if all she had done, gone through, were to be for nothing? Earth Council could
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This book is so good. SO. GOOD.

Important note: If you haven't read the book one yet, READ IT FIRST. Aside from the fact that it is also a fantastic book, the events of that book are essential to the second.

I appreciated that the author included a super-brief recap of the first in the series, in a really organic way. Even though it had only been a couple months since I read the first one, it was really helpful, and didn't distract too much from moving the plot forward.

Where to start? Avery is
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fatima Rekanovic
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I truly and I mean truly love Meg's writing style where its relaxed but not annoying. The dynamic of the characters is very interesting, kind of makes you pay attention to the details and i have read book one and two over and over I cant wait for the 3rd book to come out. I am a huge fan at this point. I have read the books back to back and to be honest I can only tolerate most writers for about a 100 pages and then the repetitive writing gets to be too much. however this these books are ...more
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story just as much or more than Ascending. I found myself completely immersed in this world that Meg Pechenick fleshes out with such detail and thoroughness. Learning about other cultures and languages on Earth is fascinating, so it’s even more fascinating and fun to dive into a story about a fictional alien culture. But the way Pechenick writes it, it doesn’t seem fictional; it seems very much like this is an account of one woman’s experience living and working with aliens. They ...more
Kerry Holden
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Vardeshi saga books are truly amazing! Bright Shards is as good as the first, I've got to say these books are at the top of my favourites and definitely ones to re-read!

I love reading of the Vardeshi culture, how they view things and their language. It's also spoke of differences between two species. As I got into these books, I felt like I was totally immerse into the Vardeshi world and its crew. Saying this, I love the way things played out for Avery- or by Vardeshi pronunciation Eyvri
Sandy Post
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having read the first of Meg Pechenick's trilogy; "Ascending: The Vardeshi Saga, Book One" last fall I have been anxiously awaiting the release of "Bright Shards, Book Two." I was fortunate enough to get a reader's copy from Meg in time for my vacation. I devoured the book within 36 hours. I love the premise of a cultural exchange between humans and the Vardeshi. It is fertile ground for uncovering what we take for granted in our lives on Planet Earth. For me, Meg finds just the right balance ...more
Lila Ogle
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read both books in this series in less than 36 hours, and now I want more.

Bright Shards continues Avery’s adventures with the Vardeshi. Her journey takes her through Vardeshi space ports and to distant planets.

The random romance from Ascending is still present in Bright Shards - in fact, it’s expanded upon, eventually becoming integral to the story. It still made me roll my eyes, but as with Ascending, it did not take away from my overall enjoyment of the world created by Pechenick.

Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As wonderful as the first

If you read the first one and liked it, you simply have to read this one. I can’t think of a way to give more of a review without spoilers, so I’ll just say this was some of the best reading of my life. I was almost crushed when I read in the acknowledgments at the end that this was ‘a second half’ to the first; thankfully, upon turning the page, another authors note says she’s working on the third.
Anna Freiberg
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best-written works I’ve read in a long time

I’ve been kind of burned out on first contact books lately because of improbable story lines and poor writing/ editing but I gave Bright Shards and Ascending a chance and I’m so glad I did. The story is great and the writing is even better! I’ll be sitting here, twiddling my thumbs, eagerly awaiting the next book in the series (there’s going to be another one, right?)
Stephanie Szkaradnik-Ünal
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. I was waiting in anticipation after finishing Ascending. It was well worth the wait. I really connected with Avery’s character and her experiences. I was excited, distraught, disappointed, enthralled right there with her through every step.
Such a page-turner! I would highly recommend this book to anyone, particularly lovers of sci-fi and fantasy.
Well done, Meg Pechenick. Looking forward to book 3!
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Meg is an amazing writer who plunges us into another world one where we are able to see ourselves reach and respond in the same way as the characters. All our human fears and fragility are exposed as well as our compassion and curiosity and humour. If you’re tired on bingeing one dimensional books please take a look at this series
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Second in the Vardeshi Saga, I enjoyed this book as much as the first. I actually gobbled these books up, reading one a day. There is a beautiful description of an off world planet, and a further development of the characters in the first book.

I can't wait to see where the author takes the story next!
Stephanie Collier
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Moving story, poignant, insightful

This series is almost poetic in the emotions it wrings and the insight into human feeling and experience. It brought me to tears, which so rarely happens in this genre. Please find a way for Avery and Hathan to be together in the end. I really look forward (albeit nervously) to the next book.
Velma  Hayes
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
2nd Up Is Just As Grand

Excellent writing! I got a little nervous at one point. But, the twist was as unexpected as it was, extremely well done. I loved this one as well. I'm looking forward to the next installment. Hurry up and write it!
Pauline Robins
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I can't wait for the next in the series. I was hoping this book would be as good as the first one and I wasn't disappointed. I would recommend this book to any SF fan.
Ms Dorothy McGhie
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An exploration of the stars, alien culture and the joy of new vistas, Bright Shards deals also with darker issues of isolation, homesickness and fear.
If you have ever been cut off from family or friends, struggled settling into a new job or a new town or tried to overcome an unrequited passion, this book will resonate with you, and leave you wanting more.
I received an advance reader copy of this book.
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Page turner galore!

Loving this series, just can’t seem to put the book down. I don’t give out spoilers so you’ll have to read the book yourself, enjoy!
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love this book.

Very entertaining and life like.
Enjoyed the series so far hope the following books will be just as good. Thanks
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great series! Can't wait for the next book.
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Avery Alcott's journey with the enigmatic and sometimes maddeningly inscrutable Vardeshi continue. There is danger, there is adventure, and there is even a bit of romance. To paraphrase the poets Jagger and Richards -- Avery doesn't get everything she wants, but she gets pretty much what she needs.
This book picks up right where Ascending ends. So, read that first.
Not quite as engaging as the first book IMHO, but still a good read. 3.5 stars rounded up.
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I'm a New England native who drifted to China and then California before realizing that I belonged on the East Coast. Ten years into my teaching career, I've finally accepted that I'm never going to work for NASA, so I've taken to writing science fiction instead. In addition to our jobs, my husband and I juggle a rambunctious Samoyed, a preschooler, and a toddler. My favorite thing in the world is ...more

Other books in the series

The Vardeshi Saga (2 books)
  • Ascending (The Vardeshi Saga, #1)