A science fiction thriller by the author of Night Watch, the hit novel that inspired two major motion pictures
Five months after the horrific accident that left him near death and worried that he’d never fly again, master-pilot Alex Romanov lands a new job: captaining the sleek passenger vessel Mirror. Alex is a spesh—a human who has been genetically modified to perform particular tasks. As a captain and pilot, Alex has a genetic imperative to care for passengers and crew—no matter what the cost.
His first mission aboard Mirror is to ferry two representatives of the alien race Zzygou on a tour of human worlds. His task will not be an easy one, for aboard the craft are several speshes who have reason to hate the Others. Dark pasts, deadly secrets, and a stolen gel-crystal worth more than Alex’s entire ship combine to challenge him at every turn. And as the tension escalates, it becomes apparent that greater forces are at work to bring the captain’s world crashing down.
Lukyanenko (the Night Watch series) neatly crafts a sophisticated SF thriller featuring Alex Romanov, a spesh, or a person who has been altered to be superhuman. After recovering from a horrific accident, Alex accepts a job as the captain of the spacecraft Mirror. He's responsible for ensuring the safe passage of his alien compatriots on their tour of the known galaxy. Alex's life is further complicated by the murderous intent of his fellow crewmembers, as well as his romantic entanglement with a much younger spesh, Kim. The prose is introspective and inventive, and the story plumbs tricky philosophical questions, such as what it means to be human and how humanness can be altered in the future. The plot moves along at a fast pace, with an appealing at and at times humorous voice. Lukyanenko's tendency toward the preachy is amplified by the translation. This solid work of SF fits into, but does not transcend, its genre.