Author: Laura Downing Root
Genre: Sci Fi
Price: $15 paperback
Point of Sale: DorranceReviewed by: Veinglory
Earth has set up trade with a peaceful alien race, the Himbians. This adds a lot of interest to Kim's job as an veterinary technician as alien animals become part of veterinary practice.
The world building in Vertical Play is mostly great, the main character and her work are entirely believable. However this is a novel in search of a story. It consists of largely a series of short anecdotes about patients in the clinic. There is a lot of "telling" about the home life of every veterinarian and some slightly preachy opinions about subjects such as when you should euthanize an alien pet and ownership of exotics.
There are some inserts that deal with some people who don't like the aliens and are sabotaging the equipment they are using. But this side-story never really goes anywhere and Kim is mainly an on-looker to it. Vertical Play had many excellent qualities, but the lack of a central narrative prevented it from being a fun read.
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