Book Review #19: House of Zeor by Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Title: House of Zeor
Author: Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Publisher: Wildside Press LLC
Release Date: 14 March 2012 (Audible)
Available Formats: Reviewing Audiobook version available through Audible.com

To be honest, I’d never heard of Jacqueline Lichtenberg or her Sime-Gen series until recently when Michael Spence asked me if I would be interested in reviewing a true audiobook. This was one of those perfect storm moments as I had just been considering opening this door because I had recently discovered a couple of audiobooks I was very interested in listening to.

On to the review.

Synopsis: The first published novel in this best-selling series asks the question: “What if the basic human nature suddenly changed?” Hugh Valleroy of the Gen Police undertakes a covert mission into Sime Territory to rescue the woman he loves from the Sime kidnappers who would use her to destroy his government. His protector and guide? A Sime who carefully and deliberately plans to kill him! (Stolen from Audible.com)

Setting: Future Earth where much of the current technology has been lost and the human race is divided into two separate mutations, the Simes and the Gens. The Gens look like the traditional human but synthesize a substance that the Simes, that have evolved into something a bit beyond human, need to survive. Thus, Gens have become a virtual food source for the Simes.

Plot: Regardless of the above provided summary, I would maintain that the main plot of book is the uneasy assimilation of the Gen Hugh Valleroy into Sime society and his decisions on whether to integrate into this society or not.

Characters: The main characters in House of Zeor are the aforementioned Hugh and the Sime leader Clyde. Hugh is the most emotionally volatile character I’ve read in a long time. I actually preferred Clyde, who’s Sime version of logic reminded me of Spock in several ways.

Odin’s recommendation: I liked the story here. House of Zeor was written in the 70’s, and to be honest, it “read” like it. It had the more clinical feel of Herbert, Zelazny and others. However, I still thought it was a story that was worth listening to/reading.

Audible.com has the unabridged version of the story that I listened to. Michael Spence does the narration for this story, and I have to admit, he blew me away. Mr. Spence nailed it. He has the perfect gravel on velvet voice for voiceover/narration work and I believe his reading added to the story.

If you’re looking for an alien/human story (although these are really both mutant humans) I do believe you’ll enjoy House of Zeor.

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There are 2 Comments to "Book Review #19: House of Zeor by Jacqueline Lichtenberg"

  • Thank you, I do agree about Michael Spence’s voice and character portrayal, as do many of the fans on the Facebook Sime~Gen Group. Another reader did a great job on a later book in the series, PERSONAL RECOGNIZANCE by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, and we’re hoping the rest of the series will be recorded soon. Meanwhile paper and e-book sales are thriving.

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