A Darkling Sea

Cambias, James L.

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
A Darkling Sea
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On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don't disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they're free to conduct their missions in peace. But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war. Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives, and the future of human exploration is anything but certain.

Publisher: New York :, Tor,, 2014.
Edition: First Edition.
ISBN: 9781466827561
0765336278
9780765336279
Characteristics: 352 pages ;,22 cm

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Mar 16, 2015
  • zipread rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A Darking Sea --- by --- James L. Cambais. This is Cambais first novel: I hope he continues to write. This novel features a slew of engaging characters: the Ilmaratans, blind and lobster-like inhabitants of the ocean bed of their ice-covered water planet who live near thermal vents and who communicate by taste and scent and touch. Then there are the visitors from Earth who live temporarily on the sea bed, exploring this strange planet and finally, there are the Scholen who are intent on making sure the Ilmaratans and the Terrans never make contact but who, in reality, would really want to make sure the Terrans remain forever bottled up within their own solar system. The protagonists, especially Ilmaratian Broadtail is well defined as are the two leading Terrans. The potential characteristics of the off-world natives are well explored. The difficulties of first contact between Terrans and Ilmaratans is realistically depicted. There is lots of suspense here and interesting turns to the plot: how will all of this end? I guess you’ll have to read it to find out. Science Fiction fans, especially the more thoughtful ones, will enjoy this novel. So will others who are not self-confessed sci-fi fans.

Feb 23, 2015
  • gstark123 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Creating convincing aliens is perhaps the hardest thing a writer can do.

After all, they are so... alien.

Cambias did a great job the Sholen are plenty weird but the Ilmaratans steal the show.

A thoroughly enjoyable read and a great ride.

If you like great aliens, check out Julie Czerneda's terrific series that starts with Survival.

Jan 01, 2015
  • JohnHy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I rate this as one of the best Scifi works that I've read. The Ilmaratan race is a wonderful creation and the author provides detailed characters.

The book unfolds in a uncomplicated way with minimal tech sizzle and only a few characters to keep track of.

My only negative is that I had hoped for a non-violent resolution but alas no to be.

Jun 23, 2014

I really thought the concept of two separate alien races and the human race put into a discovery/conflict was a clever idea. The ending was a bit lackluster but it could be great series

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