Author: Anne McCaffery
Publication date: 1991
My Grade: B
This is one of my favorite books, so I’ve actually read this one before. This book, despite the title, is actually the story of two people. The first couple chapters are Afra’s point of view of the events in The Rowan. It explains how he came to be on the station, and how his family influenced him in that regard. After that point it switches to learning about Damia, the titular character. Damia is the third child of Rowan and Jeff Raven. She is alot like her mother, and the two have trouble seeing eye to eye, like alot of mothers and daughters don’t when they are so similar.
We follow Damia as she grows up, how she discovers she actually has the ability to jump-start other’s talents, and how she continues to be lonely, similar to her mother. However one day, while relaxing in a capsule in space, she senses a alien entity. What happens afterwards effects her life forever. The last third of the book is her recovering from that situation, adjusting her perceptions of Afra, and getting introduced to the MrDini, who will be a major feature of the rest of the series.
I did find it sometimes hard to figure out the timeline of the events. Things pass swiftly in the first two halves of the book. Also there is some different numbers on how old Afra is. At the end of the book it is said he’s 44, but earlier in the book suggests he should be older then that. That is the only issue I really have with this book, although others may be bothered by McCaffery’s tendency to marry her characters off rather young (Damia’s twenty, her sons find partners in the late teens, and her daughter at 26 is thought to be older then normal to not have married) or have significant age gaps (Afra is 24-26 years older then Damia, there is a couple in the Pegasus section of the series that is 30s (guy) to mid teens (girl).) However, considering the retirement age seems to be 110 or so, such age gaps don’t seem as significant.