Good fun. Original concepts and well written.
On the newly-discovered planet, Lassti, in the flashing forests of bio-electric plant life, the body of Oloitokitok, the survey team's physicist, is found. Has he been murdered? And if so, was it by the birdlike natives, the Sprookjes? What will this mean to the survey team, already frustrated by their inability to measure the intelligence (or lack thereof) of the natives?
The Hellspark trader, tough and wily young Tocohl Susumo could care less. She thinks she's taking some time off to attend the colorful festival of St. Veschke, the patron saint of thieves and traders, on the planet of Sheveschke, accompanied by the extensions of her AI ship's computer, Margaret, Lord Lynn, Maggy, to her friends.
But Tocohl is about to be attacked; she's about to rescue a young woman; she's about to be called before a judge; and she's about to go to the planet Lassti and be immersed in an electric, high voltage mystery. Hellspark traders don't get much vacation time . . .
The theory behind this book is that of body language and how different species interact and communicate.
A fine entrancing tale with aliens and first contact. All kinds of languages and customs. A really entertaining read.