This is a stunning and luminescent novel and, thankfully, there are two more to come. The worldbuilding is solidly unusual, and Bear's characters are gripping and fully alive. The neatly constructed plot is compelling, and the technobabble is kept to a merciful minimum so that it all makes perfect sense in the shining and dying world that Bear has built.

On the dying ship Jacob's Ladder, the Princess of Rule has severed the wings of a Princess of Engine, Perceval, and started a war. Rien, a serving girl, rescues the fallen angel and they escape to Engine in the hopes of stopping the impending hostilities. Watching them, unnoticed, is Jacob Dust -- or, as he fancies himself, the remnants of God. He has his own plans for Perceval and Rien, for it is only through them that the ship can be saved from the apocalyptic end of the suns. (Bantam Spectra, Jan., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs