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message 1: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Greetings Space Opera Fans!

Space Opera and alien horses!!! I'm in...

That's just a tiny part of Hero by Belinda Crawford, but they had me at '600 kilo ruc-pard' and then looking up the author's bio to discover she's a horsewoman in real life :-)

Hero cover

Centuries ago, humans colonized Jørn, a lonely planet on the far side of the galaxy. Arriving in five great colony ships, they quickly settled the surface only to discover, after a few short years, that the planet was killing them. The culprit, a native spore, carried on every wind to every corner of the globe.

Genetic engineering, blending DNA from Earth and Jørn species, saved their crops and livestock, but for humans there was no cure. Instead they took to the skies, turning their colony ships into cities that floated above the spore’s reach.

Hero Regan is special, and not in a way she likes. She hears voices in her head that other people can’t. Surrounded by butlers, bodyguards and tutors, insulated from the outside world, her only solace is Fink, a six-hundred-kilogram, genetically engineered ruc-pard. They share lives, thoughts, triple-chocolate marshmallow ice-cream and the burning desire for freedom.

Their chance comes when Hero is allowed to attend school in Cumulus City. Here, along with making unexpected friends, Hero discovers she is an unwitting part of a master plan set into motion by the first colonists, a plan she must either help or foil if she’s ever to attain the freedom she craves.


ARE YOU READING HERO? Shout it out in the discussion thread below, find a Book Buddy to read along, and share your impressions with the rest of the community. Just remember to be kind and use the spoiler .html so you don't ruin the fun for somebody who isn't as far along.

Be epic!

Anna Erishkigal
SOF Borg Queen


message 2: by Trike (last edited Mar 02, 2016 09:58AM) (new)

Trike | 572 comments Based on this description I thought a "rcu-pard" was a type of horse I was unfamiliar with, so I Googled it, landing on the author's Jorn wordbuilding page about the creatures.

So it's a giant six-legged hairless beast they ride that's part rat, part leopard, part Jorn rucnart, the link for which goes nowhere. Based on the description given, I'm fairly certain she wanted to have her own version of the Thanator from Avatar for her main character to ride, as Neytiri does during the climax of Avatar.

That definitely gives me a very specific image to keep in mind while reading.

Pictures behind the spoiler tag to keep people's browsers from exploding: (view spoiler)

Animated gif from the movie: http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/j...


message 3: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 48 comments I might have missed something, but when I checked on Amazon there is only a paperback edition available at something like $14. No kindle edition. It may be worth it, but I'm going to wait until others read and review it.


message 4: by Anna (last edited Mar 02, 2016 10:33AM) (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Jon wrote: "I might have missed something, but when I checked on Amazon there is only a paperback edition available at something like $14. No kindle edition. It may be worth it, but I'm going to wait until oth..."

@Jon - the Kindle edition is only $3.99 - d'Zon just didn't set up her US author page correctly

ebook edition HERE: http://www.amazon.com/Hero-Rebellion-...


message 5: by Anna (last edited Mar 02, 2016 10:31AM) (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Trike wrote: "Based on this description I thought a "rcu-pard" was a type of horse I was unfamiliar with, so I Googled it, landing on the author's Jorn wordbuilding page about the creatures. So it's a giant six..."

It still sounds AWESOME! The critters in Avatar are what really made the movie for me :-)

Hey ... she's got an author interview with our own SOF member Leonie Rogers over there about her Starcats :-) [*waves - hi Leonie! *]


message 6: by Tobias (new)

Tobias Langhoff (tobiasvl) | 66 comments Weeeird. I'm a Norwegian, and Jørn is a male first name here. I don't know if I'll be able to read this novel without that bugging me :P It would be as if the planet was called George or something.


message 7: by Trike (new)

Trike | 572 comments Tobias wrote: "Weeeird. I'm a Norwegian, and Jørn is a male first name here. I don't know if I'll be able to read this novel without that bugging me :P It would be as if the planet was called George or something."

True story: Uranus was originally named George, after King George III of England.


message 8: by Jon (last edited Mar 02, 2016 10:59AM) (new)

Jon Abbott | 48 comments Tobias, we have many towns in the states called Georgetown.

That said, when a character's name is Jon, I find it off-putting.

Ah, thanks Anna. Four buck is much more reasonable.


message 9: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 338 comments Hi Anna! This one was my nomination :) I read it only a few weeks ago and loved it. It's truly YA and thoroughly enjoyable. (In my opinion).

Belinda is another Australian author writing Scifi. We seem to be having a bit of a YA Renaissance here in the land of Oz - at least as far as sci-fi goes.


message 10: by Tobias (new)

Tobias Langhoff (tobiasvl) | 66 comments Trike wrote: "True story: Uranus was originally named George, after King George III of England. "

Haha, wow. Bad example on my part, apparently.


message 11: by Steph (new)

Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 302 comments Hurrah! A book I want to read that's actually available at the Kobo store!


message 12: by Steph (new)

Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 302 comments Well, I've finished it, but still considering my review. Has anyone been reading this? I'm a bit confused as to why the young folk had the animal-hybrid companions; also, the bits about racing (though entertaining) didn't seem to mean anything within the plot. Did I miss something? I see this has high reviews on Goodreads.


message 13: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Steph wrote: "Well, I've finished it, but still considering my review. Has anyone been reading this? I'm a bit confused as to why the young folk had the animal-hybrid companions; also, the bits about racing (tho..."

Because it's young adult and animal companions are hot right now.


message 14: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 338 comments Steph wrote: "Well, I've finished it, but still considering my review. Has anyone been reading this? I'm a bit confused as to why the young folk had the animal-hybrid companions; also, the bits about racing (tho..."

I think it's because (view spoiler)


message 15: by Steph (new)

Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 302 comments Anna wrote: "Because it's young adult and animal companions are hot right now."

That's the answer I feared.

Leonie wrote: "I think it's because... [spoiler]"

This sort-of makes sense, except for the small matter of schools letting students roam freely with vicious animals! Am I just looking for too much in YA sci-fi? I expect flights of fancy in fantasy, but sci-fi should be more logical, surely...?


message 16: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 338 comments Steph wrote: "Anna wrote: "Because it's young adult and animal companions are hot right now."

That's the answer I feared.

Leonie wrote: "I think it's because... [spoiler]"

This sort-of makes sense, except for..."


I think you'll find that the roaming freely part is only because the animals in question are bred very specifically to be (mostly) safe. And the ground racing is only done by adults (which is only touched on briefly at the very beginning from memory) - the rest is illegal.


message 17: by Steph (last edited Mar 20, 2016 01:32PM) (new)

Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 302 comments I gave it three stars in the end. It's okay, but I'm left with the feeling that the ideas behind the story are a little undeveloped. It didn't grab me enough to make me want to read the rest of the trilogy. It's still good to see YA sci-fi, though - and the biological technology was a nice touch.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that Hero herself often irritated me, but I can see why younger readers might lap it up...


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