Something has gone wrong on the planet of Paradise.
The human settlers - farmers and scientists - are finding that their crops won't grow and their lives are becoming more and more dangerous. The indigenous plant life - never entirely safe - is changing in unpredictable ways, and the imported plantings wither and die. And so the order is given - Paradise will be abandoned. All personnel will be removed and reassigned. And all human presence on the planet will be disestablished.
Not all agree with the decision. There are some who believe that Paradise has more to offer the human race. That the planet is not finished with the intruders, and that the risks of staying are outweighed by the possible rewards. And so the leader of the research team and one of the demolition workers set off on a journey across the planet. Along the way they will encounter the last of the near-mythical Dendron, the vicious Reapers and the deadly Tattersall Weeds as they embark on an adventure which will bring them closer to nature, to each other and, eventually, to Paradise.
Richly textured and warmly resonant, this saga of relationships between humans and aliens is presented through multiple viewpoints that give readers room to both experience exciting action and ponder its consequences. Dr. Hera Melhuish is stationed on the planet Paradise, examining its rejection of plants and animals from Earth. She's outraged when authorities shut down her project and recall her team of experts, citing increasing danger from the inhospitable planet, and she decides to stay behind and continue her work alone. She is joined by Mack, a construction worker who'd labored to remove traces of humanity from the world; he's both attracted to Hera and drawn by Paradise's psychic energy. Willing to see what Paradise truly is, beyond their preconceptions, the two experience peril, wonder, and love. Their direct experiences are put into perspective by a writer's musings as she tries to turn Hera and Mack's story into a popular narrative, and made more real by jottings from Paradise's settlers and scientists. This novel, Mann's first in 15 years, manages to be simultaneously exciting, romantic, and contemplative quite a remarkable performance.