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Publisher Description

From the Hugo Award-winning author of Between Two Thorns comes the first novel in a captivating science fiction series where a secret withheld to protect humanity’s future may lead to its undoing…

“Cathartic and transcendent.”—The New York Times

“An exceptionally engaging novel that explores the complex relationship between mythology and science.”—The Washington Post

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony's 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart...

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
November 3
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Scarlett Indigo ,


Nicely done. Thought provoking. Ending a bit of a letdown, but mayhap it will be addresses in the next book in the series. Worth reading.

Space opera lover ,

Good writing gone wrong

Newman is clearly a very good writer - she crafts good sentences and draws you in with rich characters. But this SF novel suffers from major flaws. Pacing is a problem - it gets going slowly and key plot motivators are only hinted at until the very end. And the end - spoiler alert! - is deeply negative and dissatisfying. Little is revealed, terrible things happen, and Newman’s world is shown to be heartless, cruel, and pointless. A depressing read.

Gig 'Em '06 ,

Beautifully told, but disappointing

Throughout the story the POV character has a secret she doesn't reveal until the end. Wanting to figure out that secret pulls you thorough the book, but to me it feels like a cheat. The protagonist knows, and the author has to go out of her way to hide the truth in her thoughts.

To me, that's a frustrating way to read a story, and the ending was very anti-climactic and unsatisfying.

If you are the sort of person who likes a very heady book, with lovely prose, and you don't mind that there is not a clear theme or conclusion, you might really enjoy this. Otherwise, I would pass.

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