Stinger Stars is all about two young scientists, Maria and Alex, on the verge of being written into the history books, or maybe into the science books. Maria, a young Spanish woman who is still clinging to the ancient idea of arranged marriage for reasons not immediately defined, has a deformity, an underdeveloped arm that sends men running. The arm also happens to be the reason she decided to switch her field from physician to geneticist. She is very pretty, very intelligent, opinionated, and very perceptive. In fact, she seems to have the good eye that keeps making all the discoveries.
Alex, on the other hand, although smart, seems a tad less perceptive. Maria's discoveries aren't immediately noticeable to the man. He's intelligent and yet seems a few steps behind Maria, even though he is established, accomplished, and has his doctorate—all things Maria, as a student, is lacking. One thing they share in common? They both have googly eyes for each other. Even with her deformed arm, Alex thinks Maria is a fine "specimen."
When the two stumble across a small parasitic animal clinging to a worm they are using for regeneration experiments, they make a discovery that may turn the scientific community on its head. Why? Well, the new undiscovered animal appears to belong to a new phylum, a discovery that borders on the impossible. It also turns out to be better than average at regenerating parts and might have an unmatched intelligence as far as most animals are concerned (including humans). A downside is that they are meat eaters and cannibals, which means, if their own kind are on the menu, then what about humans?
My opinion of Stinger Stars is that it was quite good. The book is fairly well written and hard to criticize, but I do think that, with the book being as short as it is, it didn't give me enough time to relate to the characters. I could have understood the plight of Maria more if he had delved deeper into her emotions. I also would have liked to have seen more in the way of espionage wars. I did find the office politics/ethics in corporate genetics to be static fun. The discoveries pertaining to the "Stinger Stars" were another plus, slowly feeding me more and more, which I really got into. The relationships between enemies definitely made me smile, and I think Paul Bussard is on to something with this read. I hope he continues to write more literature with Stinger Stars' spirit. Let me know what you think downstairs!
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