CHRYSALIS
by Joyce and Jim Lavene

June 2003
ISBN: 1-58749-376-4
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Lt. Gael Klarke is an officer with ENDO, a military-like agency devoted to environmental concerns on other worlds. She is called into a meeting by Council Lanier for a mission that is not what it seems. She is being paired up with an agent from ECHO, another environmental agency that uses peaceful non-violent means to solve problems. Gael is not happy to be paired with Wildcat. Kalatri Astri, a telepath, who will use any peaceful means necessary to solve a problem, does not play well with others.


Neither of them is thrilled with this assignment, but they need to work together to solve the mystery of why a synthetic fuel generator would shut down for no reason. When they get to the planet, they find a strange dust. With the fear that there might be life on the planet, R-12, Gael and Kalatri try to determine the truth. At the same time, Gael is having a hard time believing and accepting that she has any psi talent. After all, she was tested by ENDO and found devoid of any psychic talent what so ever. But that still doesn’t explain the dreams.


Gael, Kalatri and a number of the crew from the ship are left to die by the crew on the freighter in a bid to frame another group. When the generator is re-started by the vindictive captain and her first officer, the race is on to survive and to discover the truth about what really happened on planet R-12.


Chrysalis starts slowly, but as I continued to read, I became fascinated by the slow build up of the relationship between Gael and Kat. They are both strong, arrogant people, dedicated to the preservation of life and the environment. Gaels reluctance to embrace all things psi is normal and handled very well. Kat has the patience of a saint, he does get angry but he controls it very well.


The romantic element between Gael and Kat is not very strong, but it pulses just beneath the surface. I enjoyed this story, the world building and character development were smooth. Before Gael could commit to Kat, she had a lot of demons from her past to deal with before she could make any kind of commitment. My only quibble was that they spent so much time apart. I was not quite convinced of their undying love, but felt that they had a good start.


Reviewed in August 2003 by Carolyn.

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