Day: August 31, 2008

Manta’s Gift by Timothy ZahnManta’s Gift by Timothy Zahn

Manta's GiftBook Cover

It has been a while since I have read anything by Timothy Zahn. I loved his Star Wars Thrawn Trilogy and Hand of Thrawn Duology. I also enjoyed the Conquerors’ Trilogy. I’d like to go back and re-read those sometime in the future, but for now I’m focusing on chipping away at my collection of books I haven’t read yet. I was very pleased at how well Zahn developed the Zhirrzh in the Conquerors’ Trilogy, so I was curious to see how well he does here in Manta’s Gift.

The Qanska are not the typical aliens you would expect so see in a Sci-Fi novel. They look like huge manta rays flying through the various levels of ever thicker atmosphere in Jupiter. The vast majority of aliens that I have read about have been humanoid. The ones that are not humanoid are usually portrayed as monsters (Starship Troopers), or there is a huge communication gap. Zahn challenges this stereotype and succeeds in describing a completely unique and intelligent alien race.