This is the first book in a four book series.
A Fire Upon the Deep
After the Battle on Starship Hill (Prologue to The Children of the Sky)
A scientific expedition to uncover the secrets of an ancient data store ends in disaster when a malevolent intelligence is awakened. The scientists attempt to flee in two space ships, one of which is destroyed. But the other containing children in suspended animation escapes and crash lands on a planet ruled by packs of dog-like creatures. The members of each pack contributing to produce a single collective pack mind. The “Tines” have medieval technology, and are far from peaceful.
The only adults on board the ship awaken two children, before being ambushed and kill by the Tines. The children are taken alive.
A rescue mission is launched, but the children must survive on their own until it arrives. Cut off from civilization, they become separated and on opposite sides of a local conflict.
Meanwhile, the evil intelligence awakened by their parents has learned that the stranded ship contains a weapon capable of destroying it, and sends its own fleet to eliminate the threat once and for all.
The ideas introduced in this book are some of the most interesting I have come across in Sci-fi. But don’t be afraid it will be too dry or difficult to understand. The characters are real, the story is well told, and there’s plenty of action.