The botanist Mendoza is one of the Zeus Company's immortal cyborgs, assigned to travel through time and salvage valuable plant life. A tragic romance with a Puritanical scholar in Tudor England broke Mendoza's heart, until she fell for a 19th-century adventurer.

Now, from the 24th century, there is Alec, a pampered lord, identical in looks to her earlier lovers. Alec and Mendoza are unaware that he's the result of careful genetic manipulation, a prototype superhuman soldier developed by the Company, who naively expect to breed an army of heroes.

This strong addition to the adventures that began with In the Garden of Iden will make series fans quite happy, as Baker cleverly reveals solutions to several mysteries surrounding the Company's ultimate goal. Although the plot is compelling on its own merits, there is quite a bit of unexplained backstory. While new readers should start with the first volume in the series, Baker's strong world-building and clever plotting make this an addictive read. (Dec. '04, 336 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum