Ian Hecht at Marturia.net fires one of the first Terra Insegura reviews into the the blogosphere, and though he has some quibbles (not to be confused with tribbles–although both can multiply rapidly on occasion, tribbles are furrier), in general, he likes it. (As he did Marseguro.) Herewith, some excerpts:
Willett’s usual moral tale style is in high gear here, with the logical next step of the question he posed in Marseguro, “What makes someone human?” When the Selkies are forced to confront their prejudices not only of “normals”, but also of a race far more modified than their own, questions arise as to where to draw that line. How the different characters answer the question ultimately decides their fate for them…
As with all of Willett’s science fiction, the science is well handled, from genetically modified humans and bioengineered viruses, to faster-than-light travel and molecular fabrication. His light touch lets us know what the futuristic technology can do without bludgeoning us with technical details. It’s believable enough in the universe that he has crafted.
The moral foundation for the book seems to be that who were are depends on how we react to the poor choices we’ve made – whether we take responsibility for setting them right, divorce ourselves from blame and lay it elsewhere, or detach ourselves from reality and claim that everything that’s happened, good and bad, is predestined and we are all just playing parts. Willett’s heroes are the ones who step up and do the right thing, and those who refuse to do so get their comeuppance in the end.