Susan Wright,
Slave Trade
(Pocket Star, 2003)

My mother always told me never to judge a book by its cover. I had always only half-listened to her. In this case, my mother's advice has been tested and found true.

When I first received the book, I was honestly turned off by the cover: the title Slave Trade in big red letters over a naked woman tied down by her wrists and with her back to the reader. "Oh man, a graphic novel," I thought -- definitely not my favorite. However, the content and caliber of the story surpassed my wildest expectations and proved my initial assumption horribly wrong.

Slave Trade is the story of Rose Rico, a young human who refuses to believe that her government is selling fellow humans to aliens as slaves for desperately needed technology. Rose then gets abducted and put into cargo with a group of other slave humanoids to be sent to the stars. But Rose does not let herself give up and into the aliens who are her new masters and proceeds to lead her newfound friends in a revolution that is bound to lead to more wonderful sci-fi books down the line.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The characters are fairly well developed and the plot entertaining. While there were definite stylistic similarities to the Star Trek novels that Wright is known for writing in the past, it is easy to see why a person would get drawn into this book because not only is the story entertaining, but it gives readers a few, solid lessons to take home with them. For instance, teamwork and cooperation between two different groups of people, particularly groups that are "racially" different, can lead to many extraordinary and powerful changes, like overthrowing slavery.

I would recommend this book and look forward to reading more from Wright.

- Rambles
written by Melissa Kowalewski
published 6 September 2003

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