A French Canadian's first novel to be translated into English tells the suspenseful story of a secret agent whose mission is to bring back a turncoat hiding deep in the territory of an unfriendly settlement on another planet.
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The setup for The Dragon's Eye is intriguing: the fifth habitable planet to be colonized by humans was not all that habitable; it lacked an abundance of natural resources, and its second sun beamed down poisonous ultraviolet rays causing burns and blindness. Overpopulated China was the only nation desperate enough to take on the challenge--and the debt--of colonizing it.
Over a hundred years later, secret agent Tanner arrives on New China on assignment to the European Enclave. He's got a couple of days to soak up information on local habits, politics, and personalities--then he disguises himself as Chinese and embarks on his mission to the interior with Hamakawa, a jaded Japanese agent. Along the way, they pick up Qingling, a New Chinese woman who falls for Tanner.
The Dragon's Eye is the first of French-Canadian Joel Champetier's novels to be translated into English. It starts off well, but in its quest to be both science fiction and political thriller it does justice to neither. The science fiction aspect could delve more into the cultural changes of the New Chinese and interactions with the Terrans who settle there. The hapless Tanner, Hamakawa, and Qingling can't quite hold our interest as characters in a better-plotted thriller would. Tanner's struggles with his biological disguise are interesting, but his character development isn't convincing.
While one can imagine The Dragon's Eye as better SF or better espionage, Champetier's New China and its political intrigue may be worth a look for those who like their SF with some action mixed in. --Bonnie BoumanFrom the Publisher:
"Joel Champetier is a terrific writer--he's sure to be a big name in 21st-century SF." --Robert J. Sawyer
"Need to spice up your reading diet? Add some freshness and piquancy? Expand your horizons into new, exotic territory? Then try Joel Champetier, a genuinely fresh voice, and listen carefully. You won't be disappointed." --Terence M. Green
"Joel Champetier sports the three essential qualities of the good science fiction writer: a poetic imagination sensitive to the wondrous mysteries of the universe, the ability to ask disturbing questions about that universe and our place in it, and the will to try and answer them rigorously." --Elisabeth Vonarburg
"Joel Champetier has a knack for drawing out the unexpected consequences of a seemingly ordinary premise. But he truly excels when it comes to taking them forward to an unflinching conclusion. At which point the reader will often look up, head whirling, and wonder how Champetier managed to make it seem so natural!" --Jean-Louis Trudel
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Book Description Tor Books, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. FAST SHIPPING & FREE TRACKING! 100% Money Back Guaranteed. The pages of this book are clean and unmarked. There is very little shelf wear. The spine remains free of creasing. Bookseller Inventory # 142019
Book Description Tor Books, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0312868820