"An action-packed futuristic tale"
Jakob Faraday is part of an expedition exploring Jupiter
when intelligent animals Qanska apparently attack his
Skydiver 7 bathyscaph. Jakob fears his vessel will be
crushed, but he fortunately escapes back to the mother ship.
Twenty years later, the Five Hundred funding a project
involving the Qanska want Jakob to arrange for college
student Matt Raimey, a quadriplegic due to a skiing
accident, to be placed inside the womb of a Qanska. When
Matt is reborn, he will retain his human consciousness
inside the body of a Qanska. Thus Matt, who felt he had
nothing to live for before this opportunity, would serve as
a bridge between the two species. As the Five Hundred and
the Qanska each have hidden agendas, Matt, now known as
Manta, finds himself pulled in two directions that test his
loyalty to his former life and to his current family.
MANTA'S GIFT is an action-packed futuristic tale that also
coaxes the reader into deep thinking about biological
issues that are not easily resolved unless you are a die
hard a democrat or a republican. The key characters make
the worlds of the future seem real, but especially critical
is that the audience believes the human Matt essence was
indeed reborn as the Qanska Manta. This belief works
as the conscience center of the novel that leads to the
audience wondering what the biological possibilities of
tomorrow's technology can achieve. When creative
Timothy Zahn goes for all out action, he succeeds with a
powerful adventure, but also takes the audience away from
the biological debate that makes this a gift to those fans
who relish a thinking, terse thriller.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted September 17, 2002
When Matt Raimey had his accident, he thought his life was
over. He never dreamed, in his wildest fantasies, that he'd
end up in a spot like this. In the toxic atmosphere of
Jupiter, born into the body of an enormous creature that
looked like a cross between a manta ray and a dolphin, he is
living a new life, unlike any humankind had previously
An unbelievable turn of events, it gave him a reason to
live, to survive, no matter what happened . . . but every
second chance comes with conditions and responsibilities.
And as those who brought him to this strange destiny have
their authority stripped from them and he discovers the
truth that only he can know about the giant alien creatures
he now calls family, this man reborn as the one they now
call Manta suddenly isn't sure he wasn't better off before.
. . .