Science fiction fans will rejoice at Bear's tightly plotted and fast paced novel, the third book from her this
year. Set in a world that is both
alien and familiar, and told from the
perspective of a group of fascinating characters, this is one of the most
memorable books of the year.

Michelangelo Kusanagi-Jones and Vincent Katherinessen have been reunited by the Coalition after being separated for many years due to Michelangelo's deliberate act of sabotage on New Earth. Both ambassadors and spies, they've been sent to far-flung New Amazonia to return art that was appropriated by the Coalition during a war. They're also in place to discover what energy source the settlements are using to power their homes and vehicles.

However, both Michelangelo and Vincent have their own agendas, ones that run counter to the government they claim to serve. Meanwhile, the female-dominated society of New Amazonia has an interest in protecting the status quo, as the initially diplomatic conflict between the Coalition and the New Amazonians sets the stage for a compelling story. (Bantam Spectra, Dec., 432 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs