Book Review – Janis by Dain White
Author: Dain White
Publisher: Dain White
First Published: 2012
Genre: Science Fiction – Space Opera
The characters first introduced in Archaea become more developed in this sequel. They are still quirky, a bit too cartoony, but they are fun. It has a clearer plot line than the first book, although the characters and setting largely compensated for the lack. I enjoyed both of these light space operas, of which we see far too few these days.
In this installment, Captain Dak Smith and the crew of his spaceship, Archaea, take on a mission to bring medical supplies to a group of rebels on a frozen planet, meeting challenges all along the way. Janis, the amazing AI of the spaceship, is the title character, but she serves as the central character of the story almost by default. My biggest issue with these two relatively short books is the multiple first-person point-of-view. The position of lead character is divided between the crew members of the Archaea. The “I” character alternates between scenes, and although it is normally clear which “I” is in the spotlight at any one time, I still found this disorienting. It also muddles the role of the protagonist because each of the first-person narrators is given about equal time. Oddly, the title character, Janis, has no scenes in the story written from her perspective.
The characters are likeable, the story hangs together well enough, and there is sufficient techno-babble for hard sci-fi geeks. The editing isn’t bad. I noticed only about half a dozen typos or obvious punctuation errors.
I can recommend this indie Kindle offering as a fun, short, sci-fi read—a solid 3.5 stars (rounded to 4).