Snail’s Pace by Susan McDonough-Wachtman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Snail’s Pace is a science fiction novella. Although the story opens on the streets of Hong Kong in 1884, the majority of the book takes place on a spaceship.
Susannah, is so desperate for employment that she quickly accepts the chance of adventure. She is employed to teach English etiquettes to the son of her employers. On a ship filled with intergalactic beings, Susannah is thrown deeply into a new world.
For her part Susannah accepts most of her new surroundings easily, however, her ability to act sensibly leaves her in some difficult situations.
I liked the concept of this story and the aliens were refreshing to read about; this was a character led story, but the short length of the tale made it feel rushed in places, especially at the end.
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Orphaned and penniless in Hong Kong in 1884 — what’s a young gentlewoman to do?
Impulsive, adventurous, and self-confident, Susannah accepts an offer to become the governess to a young foreigner on a ship. She does not expect the ship to be in space, or the foreign child to be an alien who looks like a giant snail. Nevertheless, she throws herself into the job of bringing Victorian decorum to the natives.
But when she is accused of spying and put on trial in an alien court, Susannah has to challenge the law of the aliens to save herself — and her young and slimy student.