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The Tea Master and the Detective
March 26, 2018
The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard Subterranean Press Sci Fi & Fantasy Pub Date 31 Mar 2018
The Teamaster and the Detective is an amazing read that will satisfy your cravings for science fiction and Holmesian mystery in a go. In the world of Bodard’s imagining, living mindships enable travel through deep spaces, both in actual and virtual form. The teas they brew enable individuals to survive such travel with their serenity and sanity intact. Most mindships belong to illustrious families, but The Shadow’s Child is alone, surviving by selling individualized brews to travelers. The Shadow’s Child is more than sentient, it is a self aware individual with hopes, fears and a burgeoning curiosity. It becomes the Dr Watson to a Long Chau’s Holmes. Bodard’s conception is at once a clear homage to Conan Doyle and a unique creation in its own right. My only complaint is that I finished The Tea Master and the Detective so quickly. I wanted more.
I'm eager to see where Aliette de Bodard takes Long Chau and The Shadow’s Child. While a complete story, The Tea Master and the Detective is a debut that will leave readers hungry for more.
5 / 5
I received a copy of The Tea Master and the Detective from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appareance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.
A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow's Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow's Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow's Child with her.
As they dig deep into the victim's past, The Shadow's Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau's own murky past--and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars...