the Little Red Reviewer

Regeneration by Julie Czerneda, and GIVE AWAY of Species Imperative Omnibus!

Posted on: November 24, 2014

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Thanks to Julie Czerneda’s publishers, I’ve got a copy of the Species Imperative Omnibus to give away to one lucky reader!  Scroll to the bottom of this post for more information on the give away.

RegenerationRegeneration (Species Imperative #3) by Julie Czerneda

published in 2006

where I got it: purchased used

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It’s hard to get into the plot of Regeneration without spoiling things that happened in the previous books, so I’m going to try to keep  the plot-talk very light. The super quick oversimplified plot introduction is that in the not too distant future we have become part of the Interspecies Union, which is exactly what it sounds like. Thanks to no-space transit technology provided by the multi-dimensional Ro, and the Sinzi who administrate it, hundreds of galactic species can travel all over the place.    Brymn, a Dhryn researcher, seeks out the Earthbound salmon researcher Dr. Mackenzie Connor (Mac to her friends), for help with how to save his species.

 

In Regeneration, the final book of the Species Imperative trilogy, while most governments are trying to figure out a weapon of mass destruction (or extinction) that can be used against the Dhryn, Mac and her team are asking questions that are more along the lines of *why*?  Why do the Dhryn have this biological urge? What is their biology anyways? Have they always been like this? How and where did they evolve? Can we trust our sources of information? I wish all scifi books had this much science in their fiction.  Give this series to a high school kid, and watch them fall in love with biology.

 

Underneath the superb characters and the smart dialog, and the hella fun aliens (whose biology makes sense!), and the political intrigue and the race against time are some heavy questions:

 

How do we handle an invasive species, especially if that species is intelligent and space-faring?

 

How do you study a species that most people (human and alien) have been taught to shoot on sight?

 

How do you get a panicked population to calm down? How do you get someone to work against their biological urges (or what they’ve been lead to believe are their biological urges?)

and in the slight less heavy but still crazy important column: How do you question everything you know?  How do you study something that is invisible?  How do you get people to believe you when all you’ve got is a really good hunch?

 

Answering those questions would be a major spoiler, so I’ll give you these vague answers instead:

 

We do finally get an explanation as to why Brymn sought out Dr. Connor specifically – why he wanted a marine biologist who studies populations, as opposed to an entomologist, or someone who specializes in primate studies.  When we first met Brymn at the very beginning of the series, we knew exactly what question he was asking, and we assumed we knew why.  But there’s this absolutely brilliant inside out flip Czerneda does with his questions, and this flip only makes them more important and more relevant. And even better, I didn’t see it coming, because like many of the characters, I was looking at things from a very narrow, and very human viewpoint.

 

While reading the books in the Species Imperative series, I never felt like they were super dense. I never had to read a passage over again to figure out what was going on. They aren’t dense in the classic sense, but boy is there a lot of information and detail jammed into these books! And that level of detail? I loved it.  “Level of detail” is a razor’s edge, how much is too much? how much is too little?  How do you give the reader a ton of information in a compelling fashion, get them to notice the subtleties,  and still get the reader to want more? Read this series and you’ll learn all the tricks.  Mac is the main character, but the cast of supporting characters is massive. People she knows at the research base, EarthGov people she meets, aliens she meets and works with.  This is not a sparsely populated story, and everyone is developed to some extent. (You’ll meet Charles Mudge III in the first novel. Keep an eye on him. because reasons)  Although told in third person, Czerneda presents nearly every character via their relationship with Mac. Does she enjoy working with them? Is she curious about them? Do they drive her up a wall? Do they assume she knows more than she really does, or that she knows absolutely nothing?  It was a smart way to introduce a huge cast, and to do it a way that makes every character memorable.

 

On that topic, I’m going to share with you my favorite thing about Mac, something she does that she probably doesn’t even realize she’s doing (here’s that subtlety again).  Mac is a very expressive person, she wears her emotions on her sleeve.  You know if she’s happy to see you, or stifling a laugh, or pissed as hell the moment she walks into a room.  She has not got much of a poker face.  And because she is very expressive, she notices everyone’s else’s facial expressions and body language as well.  This gets fascinating and actually pretty important when she’s working alongside aliens. Does that head shake mean amusement? Are those skin folds changing color? Does that lazy eye mean what she thinks it means? Is that style of dress indicative of something else? It gives a whole different level of characterization to the aliens we spend the most time with – Fourteen, Anchen, and then later a Dhryn.  Other humans probably think Mac’s got some special empathic gift. Nope, she just knows how to pay attention, like any good scientist.

Species Imperative 3 volumes

 

I think my favorite book in the series is the first one, Survival, probably because I’m more a fan of being faced with huge questions (rather than taking the time to answer them). The second book, Migration, has a lot of humor, and lots of entertaining misunderstandings with aliens, and Regeneration is full of intrigue, reunions, unsure futures, alien body language, and questions with no easy answers. The entire series is brilliantly intelligent, accessible, entertaining, and damn enjoyable reading.

 

Give Away Details:

Thanks to Julie Czerneda’s publisher, I’ve got a copy of the Species Imperative Omnibus to give away to one lucky reader!  This give away is open to residents of Canada and the US.  To enter, just leave a comment below saying you’re interested, and leave me some way to reach you (e-mail, twitter, facebook, whatever).  This give away will close at Midnight, Eastern Time, on Monday Dec 1st.   Good luck!

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34 Responses to "Regeneration by Julie Czerneda, and GIVE AWAY of Species Imperative Omnibus!"

Sounds awesome! Count me in.🙂

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Ooh, yes please! I want to spend 2015 trying more authors I haven’t read yet, and Czerneda definitely falls into that category! Count me in! (My email is bibliotropic.reviews@gmail.com.)

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It sounds like a good and interesting read, and I would love to read it. Thanks for having the giveaway.
ayancey1974(at)gmail(dot)com

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I loved Julie’s Turn of Light, but I’ve never read any of her scifi. I’d love a copy. Thanks for the giveaway.

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This series sounds SO GOOD. I seem to be seeing Julie Czerneda’s name everywhere lately, so it’s probably time to start reading her books. Thanks for the opportunity! @tammy_sparks

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I’ve been a fan of Julie and her work for a long time now. Always great reading and very believable “universes” that she builds. I’ve lost,, thanks to divorce, most of my print copies of stuff. This would be an awesome omnibus to own and provide many hours of worthwhile reading.

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I’d be interested in the contest. bigorangemichael at gmail dot com.

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Julie’s stuff is good (I am not going to enter the contest, just wanted to comment and thank you for doing the review and helping support another excellent midlist writer)

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Sounds delightful; I’d like a go! kat.laurange (at) gmail (dot) com, thanks!

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Hello. I have the books. So no, thanks, to the contest. I just want to say what a great review this is. I loved the books for many of the reasons you touched on, but hadn’t zeroed in on all of them. Perfect excuse for a re-read. Thanks!.

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As a biologist, I am definitely intrigued. Count me in.

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Well if it is in omnibus for count me in. I do love…omnibuses? Omnibi?

Wanted to read survival for some time anyway.

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Love Julie’s books so count me in on the giveaway. Great review as well

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Me, please! erinkkenny at gmail dot com

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Definitely interested, please and thanks! jfischer38000 at comcast.net

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How could I not be interested? This series sounds amazing. I would be thrilled to be chosen by the forces of random to receive this Omnibus🙂

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Oops! I didn’t leave contact info. I can be reached via @mangoheroics if I am chosen.

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Big questions, humor, alien body language — yes, please!

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I’d like to be considered for this PRIZE offering…

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Thanks for the giveaway, I’ve always wanted to check out her sci-fi🙂

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Sounds great!
Yes, please enter me in this giveaway.
Thanks —

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Not only is Julie Czerneda a fantastic writer (and fellow biologist), but also a wonderful person. She always delivers entertaining and intriguing stories.

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I haven’t read Julie Czerneda, but with this review and reviews by Jo Walton, I would love to start.

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I❤ Julie, count me in!

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Thanks so much! Hope you enjoy.

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I am interested in the giveaway, thanks.

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I’m very interested in this give-away, have just the spot for it on my shelf!

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I’m interested.

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I would love a chance to read Julie Czerneda’s trilogy! The biology slant sounds really interesting.

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I’m interested in the giveaway. As a biologist and sci-fi fan, I love this series!

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Ooh, yes! I recently read “Survival” and loved it, but unfortunately the rest of the series isn’t available from the library…

I’d love a chance to finish the series!

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dunno whether I am too late but … redlion@sff.net and I love Julie’s books!

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Julie Czerneda is the only DAW writer I know of, and actually met at the TIBF a few weeks ago. She encouraged me to become a SF writer & even auto’d a bookmark for me. So right now, she is my fave, and I’d love to win a copy of Species Imperative. Count me in.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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