Jody Lynn Nye,
The Lady & the Tiger
(Ace, 2004)

Dr. Shona Taylor has earned a respite. After fighting death and disease around the universe, she and her family -- including her children, menagerie and a sentient alien called an ottle -- could use a break from their space travels. So when a plum temporary assignment to serve as physician on the garden planet of Jardindor arrives, Shona leaps to take it.

Soon after Shona arrives on Jardindor, she finds some troubling blights in this new eden. The tiny, close-knit population has all the usual quirks attendant with great wealth, plus a few extra: an obsessive interest in privacy, a fear of any non-herbal medicine and an unhealthy interest in Shona's animals and her ottle friend. The planet's social maven, Finoa, inspires a respect from her friends that borders much closer to fear. Her children come home from playdates with strange stories of mysterious pets. But when Shona discovers exactly what her new neighbours are hiding in their gardens, her life in paradise turns into a hellish fight for her life. Shona must find a way to save herself, her family and the secret slaves of Jardindor before her deadly assignment becomes permanent.

The third book in Nye's Taylor's Ark series, The Lady & the Tiger is a quick-paced, engaging read. The book provides enough details of the others that it can easily stand alone. Nye's style is fun, with light touches of humor to leaven the suspense and tension. Although her soapboxing on certain ecological issues can be a bit heavy-handed at times, this does not detract from the story's overall power to entertain. If you are in need of a relaxing day with an enjoyable book, The Lady & the Tiger will meet your needs.

- Rambles
written by Tracie Vida
published 8 May 2004

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