Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro

Published: 1995

Genre: science fiction

Length: 357 pages

Setting: various Trader and Skolian planets, far future

Interest: It was a random book picked off my Kindle based solely on the title

Summary: Soz is a Jagernaut, which also means she’s an empath and an elite fighter who can link with her ship and the three other fighters in her unit. Soz is also a Rhon, which means she’s part of the Skolian ruling class that keeps the telepathic network (the Skolian advantage over the Traders) running. She discovers the new Trader Aristo heir is part Rhon, which is nearly unthinkable. The Aristos believe anyone not an Aristo is there to serve them. Empaths providers who provide mental pain energy to the Aristos. There are several battle between the Traders and Skolians. Soz take steps against her brother, the Emperor, and rescues the Trader heir. They utilize connections with Earth to run away together and hide from their respective empires.

Final thoughts: It was a fine enough space opera – not bad enough to quit, but not good enough to find the sequel. I don’t particularly like the whole “pheremones made me do it” argument that brought Soz and the Trader together. I was wondering how they would get Soz’s fiancee out of the way of her newly discovered Rhon-and-therefore-destined-to-be-together-forever man. He was injured in battle and embarrassed by his injuries to be with Soz anymore, which also felt like a cop-out argument. The battles were exciting, and there was a bit of intrigue between Soz and her brother, but there’s better books in this category than this one. However, based on the number of books in this series (something like 16), other people disagree with my assessment.

Title comes from: Soz was a Primary (a military unit) and inversion was the method they used to travel between solar systems.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 54/100 in my Finally to 100 Challenge

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