Bennett has written several Star Trek novels and his mastery of the hard science elements in Only Superhuman shines through. But the novel is hamstrung by the relentless oversexualization of all of its female characters. Bennett takes every opportunity to discuss their impressive breasts, skimpy clothing and sexual voraciousness. Female science-fiction fans will want to look elsewhere to find an identifiable heroine who looks more like them and less like pure male fantasy.
Emerald Blair is a Troubleshooter, part of an elite task force of genetically modified superhumans who patrol the politically fractious Asteroid Belt. When Emry’s mentor retires as head of the Troubleshooter corps, his successor is all too eager to institute a new mode of engagement. Gregor Tai is a big believer in preemptive action. Which is why he sends Emry to covertly spy and report back on the activities of the Vanguard habitat — the home of her father’s estranged family and fellow superhumans. Drawn in by the legendary Vanguard leader Eliot Thorne and his alluring daughter, Psyche, Emry starts to embrace her Vanguardian heritage and grows ever more alienated from her Troubleshooter cohort, who are taking alarming steps to stop crimes and acts of terrorism before they happen. (Tor, Oct., 352 pp., $24.99)
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