Monday, April 09, 2012

Tatja Grimm's World

By Verner Vinge

Vinge has written a few good books in his time, so I was eager to read this as it was his first published novel. The story revolves around a child prodigy who grows up on a planet with meager mineral resources, and who doesn't seem to belong, and who displays amazing intellectual abilities. Moving from one social group to another, she eventually passes up through the social strata until she reaches the very top, assuming the title of regent of the planet's most powerful nation.

At this point, she begins to discover a few disturbing facts about her home world and eventually this leads to the climax of the story and Tatja Grimm must use all her abilities to defend her planet from an alien threat. And so on and so forth.

The story is pretty straight forward, and devoid of any of significant plot twists which might make for a challenging read. Tatja Grimm isn't a particularly well described character either, so I never felt emotionally engaged by her story. On the whole the book is strangely pedestrian, and even some what self indulgent when regarded as a work of science fiction since a lot of Tatja Grimm's rise to power comes from her association with a science fiction publication.

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