Meet Fink. He’s the size of a horse, has a tail, six legs and is Hero’s best, if not only, friend.
Weighing in at six-hundred and twenty-two kilos with twenty-six claws and a mouth full of pointy teeth, most people find Fink intimidating, but underneath all that fur beats the heart of a teddy bear.
You might think he’s a push-over, but don’t let his weakness for spiced chocolate cake, tummy rubs and lazy days in the sun fool you. Fink’s a rat-pard – a genetically engineered mix of rat, leopard and ecio, one of Jørn’s most fearsome predators – and he doesn’t take threats lightly.
I first devoured the Song of the Lioness series when I was ten; to say that it was my favourite set of books ever is to understate the case. Alanna, the series protagonist, was my childhood hero, and not just because she had a magic sword and a talking cat. Alanna was my hero because she was doing something forbidden and getting away with it.
It wasn’t an especially bad thing that she was doing, like selling drugs or stealing, she was just doing what the boys did – playing with swords, riding horses, going to war – and if that meant she had to lie about her gender, well, that only added to the tension.
Meet Hero, the star of Hero-Fink, a novel set in the far distant future, on a far distant world.
Hero Regan is special, and not in a way she likes. She hears voices, the kind of voices that other people can’t hear. Ever since she can remember, she’s been forced to take meds and prodded by shrinks and doctors, all of whom say the same thing. She’s sick, crazy even; but they’re lying.
Her parents have her completely isolated from the outside world, wrapped in a cocoon of butlers, bodyguards and tutors. Her only solace is Fink, a six-hundred-kilogram, genetically engineered rat-pard. Together they create havoc, sharing lives, thoughts, triple-chocolate marshmallow ice-cream and the same burning desire for freedom.
Targ – a boar-like creature with spikes along it’s back. Generally considered to be the Klingon equivalent of a cat.
At 5’9” with a forehead that looks like it could deflect a sledgehammer this all-star isn’t someone you’d like to encounter in a dark alley. Half-Klingon, half-human and a good deal more attractive than the former, K’Ehleyr gets to be the first shuttle off my all-star hero rank because it’s hard to go past a woman who can take the piss out of Worf1. Continue reading →