In this sequel to the Nebula Award–nominated and Tiptree Award Honor Book that New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire called “exciting, inventive, and brilliantly plotted,” Millie unwillingly returns to the Arcadia Project when an impossible and deadly situation pulls her back in.
Four months ago, Millie left the Arcadia Project after losing her partner Teo to the lethal magic of an Unseelie fey countess. Now, in a final visit to the scene of the crime, Millie and her former boss Caryl encounter Teo’s tormented ghost. But there’s one problem: according to Caryl, ghosts don’t exist.
Millie has a new life, a stressful job, and no time to get pulled back into the Project, but she agrees to tell her side of the ghost story to the agents from the Project’s National Headquarters. During her visit though, tragedy strikes when one of the agents is gruesomely murdered in a way only Caryl could have achieved. Millie knows Caryl is innocent, but the only way to save her from the Project’s severe, off-the-books justice is to find the mysterious culprits that can only be seen when they want to be seen. Millie must solve the mystery not only to save Caryl, but also to foil an insidious, arcane terrorist plot that would leave two worlds in ruins.
Picking up four months after the end of Borderline, Baker once again immerses readers in a modern-day fantastical Los Angeles, blurring the line between perception and reality with breathtaking ease. Many of Hollywood's biggest stars and directors are secretly paired with fairy Echoes, who boost the humans' creativity in exchange for a taste of mortal life and talents. Series protagonist Millie, a would-be filmmaker, has developed coping strategies for her physical and mental disabilities that prove surprisingly useful for dealing with these supernatural entities. Seeking independence, she pulls away from the Arcadia Project, the quasi-official bridge between humans and fairies, and gets a job at Valiant Studios, her own apartment, and a workable therapeutic routine. But her friendship with her former boss, Caryl, and the potential of a relationship with her own Echo, Claybriar, keep pulling her back into the project's realm of influence. The continued struggle between the Seelie and Unseelie fairy courts is echoed in the ripples caused by the climax of the first book, and, when a new threat looms, Millie must untangle fairy and human secrets before both Earth and Arcadia are irreparably damaged. Baker has a wonderfully subtle touch with delicate emotional, psychological, and romantic elements, and she builds a solid foundation of complex and interesting characterization upon which she layers heart-pounding action and a brilliantly twisty plot. Each word is deliberately chosen for maximum effect. Everything readers think they know about both worlds will be upended by this enthralling installment.