Lilly is the hook that gets us into the story. And she is perfect for the role. Her biography is a metaphor for everything else that is going to happen within the world of Starshatter.
She is a bunny – but not a ‘normal’ one. She is a genetically modified bunny – referred to as a ‘client’ of the Terrans [who are earthlings – but not from our reality, rather a parallel universe.] This immediately locates Lilly in a fantasy world somewhere between us and the unknown. This clever tactic by the author creates a cognitive dissonance that allows us to enter right into the world of Fringe Space, one of the most inhospitable places in the Universe – and inhabited by the intrepid Terrans and their clients. Immediately the hope filled and uplifting view of humanity challenges the current dominant social narrative of the dismal failure of the human species on Earth. It is a breath of fresh air in these chaotic times. Everything a story should be – and so we read on.
Lilly is a sharp af scientist/farmer. She is peacefully going about her daily farming activities when Slavers attack and decimate her colony and is the only being left alive on the planet after all her friends/family have been murdered or enslaved by the bad guys. Lilly’s response provides another mind-bending approach by the author. Instead of her behaving in the expected manner of earth bunnies – timid and shy and cautious – Lilly is portrayed as a life-affirming and courageous character. She is also smart. She responds instantly by retrieving weapons, ambushing the enemy, and driving off into the distance like a cowboy from the Wild West. She is determined to fight back with all her meager strength .
The rest of the chapter proceeds at the pace of a car chase in LA. The author describes her battles with the forces of evil [actual evil – the bad guys are also cunningly crafted characters and not hollow superficial stereotypes] as a rollicking, fast paced adventure. Lilly, using her wit to outsmart wave upon wave of attacks form the Slaver forces, refuses to be beaten, even when she is. She is quick thinking and deadly. She does not waste her time with dilemmas of morality – she does what needs to be done.
Another quaint aspect of Lilly’s adventures is that she is aided by the Mumpa trees. One in particular, that she has doctored when it was wounded while protecting her. She does not ‘if’ or ‘but’ about the situation, she does not judge the tree unworthy – in fact her instant compassionate response to its condition is another indication of the heartwarming message that the author carries through out his series. Neither does she put her need above the tree’s need. The lovely insight that we, the readers, are given to the tree’s sentience and protection of the small creature fighting for its life – is completely unseen and unknown by the innocent Lilly herself. Providing another reason to hope – to hope that Lilly returns one day and meets Mumpa Tree and becomes aware of the bond formed between them by her act of simple kindness.
As a member of Anit’za’s crew, [book two of the series] Lilly loses her fear in the presence of the mighty Morale Officer, Dozan. She realizes, in his presence, that despite her tiny size she is in fact “capable of great feats of strength and bravery” and she is able to valiantly revisit her trauma and calmly give a detailed depiction of her horrific ordeal. However, her new-found confidence and boldness does not affect her practical nature. We see how, as she begins to form a bond with another of the mighty warriors [selected by Anit’za in his quest to right the wrongs of the Universe,] the Asgardian, Brynjar, she is able to overcome the last of her nightmare with her self-deprecating humor and we see her laughing “quietly at first, she picked up speed and soon was laughing loudly, with tears of joy streaming from her eyes” and describing herself as “just a simple scrub”.