This Chick Read: The V’Dan (First Salik War #2) by Jean Johnson

Grand Ambassador of the Terran Motherworld, Jacaranda Makenzie, has arrived with her Gestalt partner, Prince, and Captain of the V’Dan space force, Li’eth, to his home world to introduce his people to their human cousins the Terrans. Jackie brings with her technology that will help the V’Dan fight and possibly win a war against the Salik, a non-human species who is terrorizing the universe. She and Li’eth as Gestalt partners need to be close to each other as their powers grow. Prophesied to bring peace to the universe there is a lot riding on their success in uniting their two races.

It’s been a couple of years since I read the first novel in this series, Terrans, where we were introduced to Jackie and Li’eth but in a Terran setting. Li’eth was welcomed onto their planet and treated honorably. When Jackie and her crew escort Li’eth to V’Dan, the similarities between their own people are only separated by a discoloration on the skin of the V’Dan’s called jungen, which all V’Dan receive when they reach puberty. Terrans don’t have these marks, and because of that the V’Dan’s treat them as children disrespecting their people. As their leader, Jackie is faced with a cultural and racial insensitivity that her people have not seen in over 100 years.

This book, written prior to the Black Lives Matter movement uses the V’Dan’s skin discoloration to make some interesting parallels to the struggles we’ve faced to eliminate degradation due to skin color. It was interesting to read a science-fiction novel that chose that subject (among others) to take a stand and I relished every time Jackie as Grand Ambassador struck down this insensitivity and prejudice. I wish it were that easy today.

The V’Dan as a lot of sci-fi is, can be very technology heavy and there were pages that I skimmed to the plot to move forward a bit quicker but when the story called for action the plot moved along quite quickly. In addition to the technology-laden paragraphs there were a lot of politic-speak between the different alien races who were in an Alliance together. That too, made for slow points but ultimately picked up when Jackie got to kick-butt and smack down some furry or many-eyed creature for viewing her as a child. I admit, I did get a kick out of those moments.

I really enjoyed the more psychic moments in the book. Li’eth and Jackie were a solid pairing and I liked their hidden conversations, spoken mind to mind as they could talk freely where no one could hear them and those conversations gave insights into the actions going on around them. Theirs was not the only emotional connections but certainly as the main character theirs was the most prevalent.

If you like sci-fi and don’t mind techo-jargon then you may enjoy this series. I immediately picked up the third and last book in the series because I liked this book so much and would recommend it to anyone who thinks they may like a story that while a little older, runs parallel to the story lines of today. Granted, I do hope there aren’t some tentacled species out there hoping to inhabit our planet, breed humans so that they can eat us, so there is that. 🙂 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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