"Excellent Work"

I would recommend getting THE VEILED WEB. It is in the Science Fiction section of the book stores but it has a strong romance and a Happily Ever After!!!

First, I had a few misgivings going into this. The primary one was the story was about a harem -- a domestic harem, but a harem nonetheless. Not my cup of tea, thank-you-very-much. My fantasies do not involve slave girls, sheiks or kidnappings across a desert. The other problem I had was that this was about the WWW -- yes, the World Wide Web. Well, I thought the material might be dated. I know it takes awhile for a book to be written, produced and distributed and the WWW technology moves so fast, that it had to be dated. And I don't like reading dated material when I roll my eyes and say, "but that isn't how it is today."

Second, I should have a bit more confidence in my favorite authors. hey, I am learning .  Catherine has given me many hours (she has multiple books ) of reading and escape to other worlds. Her science is so strong it makes me go look things up!  That is a compliment, by the way! 

Third, it was definitely about the clash of cultures -- in romance, life, and ways of thinking. That strikes very close to my reality. Marrying a person whose parents were 1- Catholic and 2 - Puerto Rican while mine were 1- Mennonite and 2 - Swiss-German, has made for an interesting if not painful clash over the years. Did I want to read about others living through the same conflicts? Not necessarily, at least not at a holiday time when those memories and emotions are closer to the surface. 

Fourth, the heroine appears sort of stupid (don't know another word to use for her :-) that comes quickly to my mind especially after expressing out loud, 'can she get any stupider?') and the hero isn't really my cup of tea, so talking about his physical characteristics (yuck) and his close-minded ideas makes for a bit of rough going in the beginning chapters. 

HOWEVER -- and this is the important part -- this is a good read! Overall, THE VEILED WEB is a book that compelled me to keep reading even through adverse conditions -- the phone kept ringing, the defrag went berserk , I was given work to do (sheesh). And I loved Zaki, the AI (artificial intelligence) avatar (graphical representation). Through Zaki I learned to accept, along with Lucia, Rashid. I want Zaki on my computers! 

My fears of the harem were put to rest. This wasn't a make- believe harem with dancing girls, but a sort of life, having worked professionally with technical professionals is familiar. Roles I would not accept but ones that I have seen in practice.  Plus, I know people who practice Islam and have respected their observance of Ramadan. Also, I read this during Ramadan so it broadens my understanding a bit, which is always good in my opinion. This background for the novel fascinated me as Lucia learned about it and in turn 'educated' me

The science was NOT dated. It was so real to life, after all, I use my Bonzai Buddy at home all the time to travel around the web. And I have studied and use neural networks in my business life. I liked reading about the interpretation of it on the WWW. Good stuff -- I had to go look up some things. 

And last but not least, I am humbled that once more an author has managed to make me go past my prejudices and stereotypes to find a new intriguing world to discover and meditate upon. This book will be sticking with me a bit longer than most. Excellent work! 

Reviewed by S J Reyes
Posted August 29, 2001


Ballerina Lucia del Mar has two great passions: dance, which consumes most of her waking hours, and the World Wide Web, which brings the outside world into her tightly regimented life. Lucia's two passions collide when a White House performance and reception leads to an encounter with handsome Moroccan businessman Rashid al-Jazari, creator of a brilliant technology that has set the Internet rumor mill afire.

A second, seemingly chance meeting with Rashid will plunge Lucia into a deadly world of desire and intrigue. For although his work has implications she cannot foresee, there are those who do understand and would turn its great power to their own destructive purposes. As she is drawn deeper and deeper into Rashid's life and work, cut off from the outside world, she finds herself becoming more attracted to him. But is her seclusion within Rashid's well-guarded Moroccan home intended to ensure her safety...or her silence? And is it already too late to stop the terrible consequences his new technology could unleash?


The Veiled Web
by Catherine Asaro

December 1, 1999
ISBN #0553581511
EAN #9780553581515
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Catherine Asaro

Charmed Destinies
Diamond Star
The Ruby Dice
The Night Bird
The Ruby Dice
The Fire Opal
The Dawn Star
The Final Key
The Misted Cliffs
The Journey Home
Sunrise Alley
The Moon's Shadow
Irresitible Forces
The Charmed Sphere
Charmed Destinies
The Moon's Shadow
Spherical Harmonic
Spherical Harmonic
Ascendant Sun
The Quantum Rose
The Phoenix Code
The Radiant Seas
The Last Hawk
Catch The Lightning
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