By Kathy Tyers
Microbiologist Graysha Brady-Phillips accepts an offer to assist in terraforming the planet Goddard for two reasons: she needs the hazardous duty pay, and she hopes the planet’s colonists can provide a cure for the genetic disorder that is slowly killing her.
But such genetic engineering has been banned for decades by the powerful Eugenics Board, and Graysha is that board’s high commissioner’s daughter. When the colonists discover this, she isn’t surprised that they ostracize her, for the penalties for conducting their radical research could include death. Graysha continues her work and tries to befriend the colonists, but soon she is dodging attempts on her life.
Even as Graysha questions whether her hope is worth the peril, she realizes she has grown attached to her new world. But that world is threatened, and Graysha must decide what she is willing to sacrifice: her security and professional hopes, or her new faith and even newer love.
Shivering World was completely entrancing. I read it on a road trip with the family and ended up finishing it (fighting slight carsickness) over the course of a day and a half. Not only does Tyers write incredibly human, beautifully snarky, witty characters, but the science fiction is intense! I would not recommend this book for non-science fiction lovers as it is written for those of us who love to ponder the science behind terraforming and genetic modification. But don’t worry, it’s not written in a way that is confusing or forcibly too intellectual.
Because Kathy Tyers actually received her degree in microbiology, her writing is incredibly realistic and vibrant. Tyers has a mastery over the concepts of world building and science Incredible hardcore science fiction tackling topics like genetics, terraforming, and outer-world politics.