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I Heart Characters: The SF Version

I’ve been talking a lot about various science fiction books and authors I’ve read and love, so today, I thought I would delve into a few of the characters I’ve met over the years who’ve left a lasting impression on me.

Those of you that read my blog regularly might remember me talking about the novel, Serpent’s Reach, by C. J. Cherryh. A book I read back in 1980, which had a huge impact on me. Not just because a number of strong female characters in it, but because I could identify with the main protagonist, who was about my age at the time. Both of us had, inadvertently, been dropped in at the deep end and left to sink or swim. Although it’s true, I wasn’t on a far flung distant world, nor being chased by an unseen enemy, but I was battling my own demons at the time.

So when I discovered Raen a Sul hant Meth-maren, the sole survivor of her family—murdered by a rival clan in what was an attempted coup—I felt an affinity with her struggle for survival and the need for revenge. I don’t know what it was about this particular character, and the set of circumstances, but I found a certain solace in Raen’s journey. Maybe it was the fact, despite everything she went through and endured, she never gave up hope. And, in the end, she bested them all. Okay, maybe she had a little help from the Majat—an insectoid race with a hive-mind consciousness—my other favourite thing about this book. Don’t mess with a sentient race who are all but immortal.

For more info about the book and characters, check out: Serpent’s Reach.

8 Comments

  1. I love books that I can relate to, especially during those tough times. I always view them as a little gift from universe – I see it as a little whisper of hope, when the universe gives me a sign not to give up and to carry on. I’m so happy you found comfort in this book during your tough times. ❤️

    By the way the your description sounds, as always, super interesting, and I have another book to read.

    • Sometimes I think books like this fall into our hands just at the right time, that, or we just happen to identify with and or make an attachment too a particular character who we can relate to, just at a time of need. Either way we look at it, these books help in reminding us, we are not alone in what’s happening to us. And there is always hope.

      If you ever find a copy, and do read it, I hope you enjoy it. But given how many books we all have on our wish lists, we all might need another 40-50 years to read them all!

  2. Books where you can relate with the characters, identify with them are the ones that resonate deep in our souls. They make lasting impression. And now you have me all curious about the demons you battled in the 80ies Alexandra 😉

    • This post was partly inspired by one I read over on your blog, Sophie. I love how you are so deeply passionate about so many wonderful books, and authors. I think all the books we fall in love with have really storing character descriptions, and it’s what these characters go through that we can relate to, that helps us.

      Ah, nothing more than anyone else has probably gone through. So much family angst that, at the time is overwhelming but, later, when we have distance and a bit more perspective, we learn to understand or at the very least, let go of.

      • That’s so true Alexandra le “let go of” (lacher prise in French). I find it so sad to grow old as my body sometimes reminds me that I am headed to my fifties slowly but on the other hand I learned to sort between what I can change (mostly myself and my behavior) and what I can’t and have to let go of (the others).

        • Ah! Then you too know what it’s like. With age and distance, we can see our youth and childhoods, respectively, in a different light. And yes, as with many things, we get to an age (I hope we all do) where we are more aware of what we have control over, and fix/mend/change, and stuff we just have to let go of.

          Such is life.

  3. Sounds like a cool story! The cover kinda reminds me of westerns a bit 😀
    I love it when i find a book that is matching my situation so well that i’m just like “yea, this is it, this character is like me!!”

    • This could be called more of an adventure, set in space, or a coming of age with Aliens, or even a SF western. It does have a lot of different elements as part of the story, but is firmly character driven from the POV of Raen; her pain, her anger, and her survival and, yes, revenge that cost her banishment.

      Though maybe a little dated now, it still holds us well, and well worth a read.

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