The Refugee (The Korvali Chronicles) – A Book Review

refugeeThe Refugee (The Korvali Chronicles Book 1) is the first installment of a series of books by C.A. Hartman.
It is the story of a refugee from a xenophobic race of people that have very advanced technologies especially where genetics is concerned and thus the reason for their xenophobia. They do not wish to share any of their knowledge with outsiders, including their language. The story centers around two characters, one being the refugee, Eshel and his genetic differences from the others on the ship, not to mention his difficulty in interacting and developing relationships. The other is Catherine, a geneticist on the starship Cornelia.
Hartman’s own real-world experience and knowledge, as a geneticist, are evident in her story telling. The scientific terms and explanations are easy to understand, and it is apparent she loves the science and wants the world, not only in her book, but the real world at large to be excited about it as well.
There are lots of characters to get to know and Hartman does a great job of character development as well as universe building in a way that is palatable, especially where several races of aliens are concerned. The interpersonal development of the relationships between crewmembers is integral to the story as it helps to understand the motivation driving each.
There is much intrigue, with lots of twists and turns, making it a book I did not want to put down.
Hartman employs a number of different writing techniques and one that I found charming was the letters home interspersed between some of the chapters.
The Refugee is a delightful and quick read. I wish it were longer and can’t wait for future installments.

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