Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations

  *****Dangerous Notes 

by Gillian Bradshaw

Reviewed April 5, 2004.
Severn House, New York, 2001.  283 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (F BRA).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #4, Science Fiction and Fantasy

Gillian Bradshaw is a genius!  I already knew she’s the queen of historical fiction, but now it turns out that she can write brilliant science fiction as well.

When I began this book, I wasn’t sure I would like it so well as her other books, since the style was so completely different from her historical novels that I love.  However, it wasn’t long before I was completely wrapped up in the novel.  It ate up several hours of a day I had planned to make more productive.

Valeria Thornham has been arrested.  When she was a baby, she was in a serious accident and received treatment to keep from being brain damaged.  Recently, someone with the same treatment had a lapse of consciousness and killed eighteen people.  Now everyone who had the treatment must be assessed.  Val thought that she could put the assessment off until she finished her term and took a vacation in France.  The police thought she was fleeing the country.

When Val does get her forced assessment, she does have abnormalities, just as she had feared.  But they are tied in with her ability to perform and compose music.  If they give her new “treatment,” she is sure she will lose her music.  How can she escape what they are trying to do to her?

This book, besides being a suspenseful thriller and intriguing, believable science fiction, is a fascinating look at the nature of consciousness and creativity and music and identity.  Absolutely brilliant!

Reviews of other books by Gillian Bradshaw:
Imperial Purple
The Sand-Reckoner
Cleopatra's Heir
Render Unto Caesar
The Wolf Hunt
The Wrong Reflection

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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