The lovably flawed crew of La Sirena Negra and their psychic cats return in this fast-paced and outrageously fun science-fiction novel, in which they confront past failures and face new threats in the far reaches of space from the author of the critically acclaimed Chilling Effect.
Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra find themselves once again on the fringe of populated space—and at the center of a raging covert war. When Eva’s sister asks for help locating a missing scientist, promises of a big paycheck and a noble cause convince Eva to take the job despite lingering trust issues.
With reluctant assistance from her estranged mother, Eva and her crew follow the missing scientist’s trail across the universe, from the costume-filled halls of a never-ending convention to a dangerous bot-fighting arena. They ultimately find themselves at the last place Eva wants to see again—Garilia—where she experienced her most shameful and haunting failure.
To complete her mission and get paid, Eva must navigate a paradise embroiled in a rebellion, where massive forests and pristine beaches hide psychic creatures and pervasive surveillance technology. Can she find her quarry while avoiding the oppressive local regime, or will she be doomed to repeat past mistakes when her dark deeds come to light?
Valdes's quirky space opera sequel to Chilling Effect is more style than substance. Since escaping the Fridge crime syndicate, Capt. Eva Innocente of La Sirena Negra has settled into a life of freelance smuggling and plotting her revenge. When the shadowy organization that Eva's sister, Mari, works for reaches out to Eva for help locating a Fridge scientist, the job leads the diverse crew of La Sirena Negra through a fan convention, robot pit fights, and old nemeses, to Garilia, where Eva once committed a war crime that left her wracked with guilt. Drawn back into Garilia's tempestuous politics, Eva contends with cute robots with a sinister purpose, ancient technology, a tangled web of blackmail and her Cuban family. While Eva's personal growth and the found family aboard La Sirena Negra including the crew's psychic cats will draw readers in and delight series fans, the constant glib, occasionally spiteful humor will not be to all tastes, as it relies on literalized memes, SFF fandom in-jokes, and obvious sexual innuendos for laughs. The result is an interplanetary adventure that feels more like a collage of pop culture references than a cohesive story.