Emé Fallon has a problem and it’s not the type she usually has to deal with as the Head of Security on Dragonfire Station. It’s not the fact that she just woke up in the Station’s infirmary after an unexplained shuttle accident. It’s the fact that she doesn’t recognize anyone around her. Or even know who she is.
The core premise, that of the main character with amnesia, is not new but Ms. DiPietro makes the most of it in Translucid. Since everything is seen through Emé’s eyes and since she is essentially re-discovering the world around her; she acts as our guide to that world.
This also serves to keep the reader in the dark about what actually lies behind Emé’s accident. We don’t know things until she does, heightening the tension in certain scenes.
One thing I liked about this approach is that it meant that the world-building was almost casual. Some details about the various races and their culture present on the station are given out as Emé encounters them. But it never feels like exhaustive explanation. In fact, some of the details given without explanation just left me wanting to know more.
As the story progresses, the reader comes to know Emé almost as well as she knows herself. The hardest part for her regards Wren, her wife. Described earlier on as pansexual, Emé finds herself questioning the validity of their marriage since she is no longer the woman her wife knew. Eventually, she realizes that regardless of who she was before, she does care deeply for Wren now. It’s nice to see this as an important part of her character with belaboring it.
Translucid is a smooth read, although I will admit that I found myself a little disappointed with the where the book ended. Since this is the first in a series of (currently) three books, obviously there is set-up for the sequels. While it didn’t end on a cliffhanger, it did feel like there was a lack of resolution. But not enough to stop me looking out for book 2.