Survival Species Imperative #1 By Czerneda, Julie Book - 2004

This book was intriguing for several reasons. It felt different than other Sci-fi I've encountered, and the attention to detail on the alien species, the Dhryn, was truly wonderful. Czerneda went into detail on several points of the aliens, including their growth and maturity, their biology, their cuisine, their way of life, their planet, their language, and their beliefs. It's not like a Star Trek episode where you get introduced to a new species and they're mostly the same as humans but they just look slightly different. The last third of the book was truly the most interesting and where I had become the most invested- Mac is on the Dhryn homeworld and meets the leaders of the species. Sadly, I feel like a lot of people may not get to that point, because the first third doesn't make much sense, and the second third is just boring and feels dragged out.
Mackenzie is a salmon biologist on future Earth. Why does she get dragged into the events of the Earth and the Dhryn homeworld, and the enemies called the Ro, who eat planets? No one knows- not even her. Even if the author didn't keep pointing out how ludicrous it was, we'd still question it. There were so many other better candidates to be the first human to visit the Dhryn homeworld. I'm still shaking my head trying to figure out why it was Mac. Emily's motives are two-faced and her ultimate goal is unknown. Nik's role in all this is useless except to be the MC's love interest. My favorite character by far was the alien Brymn. He was more relatable than Mac, believe it or not- and more likeable and amenable.
I was not a fan of the last ten or so pages. I was going to read the sequel up until then. I won't reveal here what happens, but let's just say I don't have much interest in what happens going forward.

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