In this highly readable and surprisingly straightforward novel, Bear continues the story of the Jacob's Ladder and its inhabitants, effortlessly shifting through multiple perspectives as the plot is
propelled onward through an array
of disparate landscapes -- some eerily familiar. But this is very much a middle book, and readers would be well-served to pick up the first volume, Dust, before reading this one.

The Jacob's Ladder, a massive generation ship, has survived the supernova and is heading out into the unknown once more. But its survival is not assured. It suffered serious damage in the blast; Perceval, the new captain, is struggling to come to terms with the trauma of her past; and one of the rebel leaders, Arianrhod, has escaped and is on the move to an unknown destination.

Two of Perceval's relatives, Tristen and Benedick, are in hot pursuit of Arianrhod, through regions of the world they've never been to before -- and, oh, the sights they will see on their way to confront a force that threatens their entire world's existence. (BANTAM SPECTRA, Mar., 336 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs