First, the writing!
Tompa and a small band of war refugees are pursued by bloodthirsty alien Klicks as they race across Palla Pelly Park. Palla Pelly is this planet’s equivalent of a National Park–except that it’s crammed with every dangerous predator on the planet.
When an armored, rhinoceros-sized predator called a groof attacks a group of refugees, Tompa leaps to their defence. After a memorable battle that tests Tompa’s agility, she disables the beast by thrusting a machete into its eye.
After the worst is over, the men finally appear with their rifles. I’ve tried to build a smidgeon of characterization for all three people who appear in the culmination of this action scene.
Tompa approached the fallen groof. It hissed a blast of noxious breath at her, more pathetic than ferocious. Death was taking it, though at a painfully slow pace. She stepped closer.
Ming grabbed her wrist. “Come away, Tomboy. Let us take care of this for you.”
She jerked out of his grasp. “Do you really think I want somebody to take care of me?”
“Yes,” Ming and Figueroa said at the same time.
Tompa blinked, then turned to the wounded beast. It looked at her with blood running like tears down its face.
“Look into its eyes,” she said in a subdued voice. “In its beastly soul, it knows I earned the right to do this. You didn’t. For you to kill it would be … I don’t know. An insult.” She turned toward the men. “Do you understand?”
“It doesn’t have a soul,” Figueroa answered.
Ming said nothing. With a dramatic bow, he swept an arm at the beast in invitation.
Carefully avoiding the groof’s lethargic horns, Tompa tiptoed forward and grasped the handle of the machete.
The first books of Tompa’s exploits, The Trial of Tompa Lee, earned critical acclaim when it was originally published in hardcover. In Tribulations, Tompa finds love–and learns, during a duel to the death with a vicious, seven-foot alien, the transcendent power of love.
Now the music I promised you. It’s perfect for anyone who loves Jane Austen.
The Tribulations of Tompa Lee is available wherever fine ebooks are sold. It’s also available in trade paperback from Amazon.