Monday, September 18, 2006



James Alan Gardner

  —   $6.99   —   DVD / VHS

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Fiction, Science Fiction

Vigilant begins with a plague. Not one that affects humans, but one that affects Ooloms, the gentle Divian subspecies that have membranes like flying squirrels. Faye Smallwood is the daughter of the doctor who finds the cure, but only after ninety percent of the Ooloms have died, and like many other humans, suffers from severe survivor's guilt. That guilt leads her into years of self-destructive behavior, until she finally has the courage to join the Vigil.

The Vigil is an organization that oversees the political system of this world. Its members are incorruptible, due to a link-seed implant in their brains; not only useful, but impossible to ignore. They scrutinize the impact of legislation, and present the results, pro and con. But such information has a price: it is entirely possible to literally blown out your brain with an uncontrolled flow of information. Possible and probable to one in nine Vigil inductees.

Faye survives - barely - the implantation, but her first mission, to examine a water plant, ends tragically when killer androids attack her and kill her mentor. Strangest of all, she is saved at one point by a peacock-colored whirlwind, something she has never encountered anywhere. And overseeing the following investigation starts showing her the truth about things she had never imagined - the history of her planet, the source of the plague, and who her father really was. And that maybe, just maybe, she herself is worth caring about.

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