Mac believes she is free to start her annual observations of the salmon migration again. Little does she know that she's about to be pulled into yet another interspecies conflict, this time between the Dhryn and the rest of the Interspecies Union. Whisked away to a meeting of the Interspecies Union, Mac quickly finds out that she's in way over her head: The Dhryn have started devouring planets, and Mac is the only person who can solve this puzzle.

Very much the second book in a series, this volume doesn't have much get- up-and-go. The plot meanders, with unsatisfying dribs and drabs of exposition along the way. The connection between Mac's research on salmon and the Dhryn is unclear, and she's a very two- dimensional character, overshadowed by secondary characters.

Czerneda has a lot of interesting ideas, but her execution is flawed, to the point where someone unfamiliar with the first volume in the series is likely to founder. But readers who are already invested may find this an interesting book. (May, 464 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs