I was watching Interstellar the other day and two things came to mind. Firstly, everybody should watch this film; it’s brilliant and dramatic and intense and amazing. Secondly, Nimisha’s Ship by Anne McCaffrey. That’s very random, I hear you cry but bear with me because there is a very good link.
In Interstellar, the central premise is that a wormhole has opened up near Saturn and habitable planets are being scouted as a solution to Earth’s growing environmental crisis. In Nimisha’s Ship, the main character is ensnared by a wormhole and later discovers habitable worlds…. So a bit the same! At least enough that after having watched Interstellar I had the urge to reread Nimisha’s Ship!
Nimisha Boynton-Rondymense is one of the First Families of Vega- an elite social class with wealth and respect. Her father allows her to assist him in the design of his space ships at the Rondymense Ship Yard which supplies, amongst others, the Vega military. After his untimely death, she takes over the running of the yard, and his quest for the perfect space-going yacht. When she is satisfied with her design she takes it on a test run… straight into the maw of a wormhole and through to the other side of the galaxy. Bummer.
All is not lost though as her superior vessel makes it through relatively undamaged and there are three habitable planets within a convenient distance of the wormhole exit. Nimisha sets off to explore and discovers company- survivors of a previous wormhole victim. Hooray!
Back on Vega, however, Nimisha’s half brother is using her disappearance as a way of regaining control of the lucrative ship yard and will stop at nothing to achieve his nefarious goal… including harming Nimisha’s eleven year old daughter. Bummer.
This is the second Anne McCaffrey I have reviewed for TBT and the reason is simple- I read A LOT of her books growing up, and I read them repeatedly. It’s been interesting however rereading them after time has passed and having a new perspective on them. When I was younger, I adored Nimisha’s Ship. I thought it was exciting, adventurous and very much wanted to experience the same things Nimisha and her friends were. I was gutted that McCaffrey hadn’t written a sequel but was always hopeful that she would.
Rereading it now, I still very much enjoyed it but viewed it with a more critical eye- it’s an enjoyable book. It’s adventurous, it has interesting characters and I still wish there was a sequel. I’m aware now though that, with McCaffrey’s demise in 2011, this is a hopeless wish, as, frankly, the less said about McCaffrey’s chosen successor, her son Todd, the better.
Nimisha’s Ship has its faults- there is no real antagonist throughout the book, and Nimisha herself is charmed with many good qualities but not any flaws that would make her a more realistic character. She overcomes obstacles with an ease that makes any tension in the book dissipate rapidly. Her daughter’s character suffers from this too- everybody loves her, and she’s good at everything etc.
McCaffrey though is a master world-builder, and the world she has created in Nimisha’s ship is no exception. The background details, the hints at unusual cultures, the far reaching scope all help to overcome the flaws and make Nimisha’s Ship a very good read.
A book for entertainment purposes, not too taxing but transports you to another world. 3.5 bites.