Susan Klaus’s Flight of the Golden Harpy is a curious book. For the most part it is a good old-fashioned fantasy and sci-fi romance. It is the love story of a young woman, Kari, and a harpy. The use of harpies is unusual, but the novel itself is unexpectedly mundane.
Klaus does, however, have a gift for world building. She parcels out information slowly and as needed creating a coherent, lived-in future of space travel, jungle planets, and harpies. The harpies are hunted as game animals, and their wings displayed. After being rescued by one of them as a child, Kari becomes convinced that they are not the mindless creatures most people presume. Not uncoincidentally, she also falls in love with her savior. Klaus keeps the action moving, and weaves a mystery full with twists and turns. There is an environmentalist message here, and a sense of scale. The characterization is less convincing, however, but serviceable and the dialogue is awkward and stilted.
I was looking forward to the Flight of the Golden Harpy. The premise sounded interesting but the execution, however, left a great deal to be desired.
**Received copy from NetGalley for review