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Cover from Legacies
Legacies is a SF novel by Alison Sinclair. I'd been introduced to her as an author through her later novel 'Blueheart', which was a great inspiration for me with two RPGs, Traveller and Blue Planet. Recently I picked up both of her other novels, Legacies and Cavalcade. I found Legacies to be an exercise in frustration. Sinclair can write well, and the story has shades of CJ Cherryh (the isolation of the main character), Arthur C Clarke (Rendezvous with Rama) and a number of the other classics. However, it took nearly three hundred pages of a four hundred and nineteen page novel for the plot to finally kick into gear, and the whole story was made disjointed by the style deployed, ruining any flow.

The tale is a simple one – the colonists, our protagonists, have been settled for five generations on a world which is not especially hospitable. They arrived at the colony having fled Burdania, their homeworld, using an experimental stardrive because the politicians had wanted to shut down space exploration. The stardrive may – or may not – have caused devastation and widespread ecological disaster on Burdania as it did not function as planned. The colony is also home to another post-technological race with which little contact is held. The tale starts with the arrival of a mission back to Burdania to find out the fate of the homeworld. It then intermeshes chapter by chapter with the story of how the colonists finally came to decide to return to their origins. All this is seen through the eyes of Lain, an outsider in the colony who has suffered severe brain trauma in an accident in his youth which limits his ability to communicate normally.

I can't help but wonder is Burdania is a play on the word 'Burden', related to the colonists concerns about the unknown situation on their homeworld.

I did enjoy the book, but the failure to sustain any pace, and the hard work to get anywhere with it means that I would only give it a 3 out of 5 rating. I'll pass it on to my dad to try and thence to the charity shop or Bookcrossing.com as it's not a keeper.