Out of todays headlines comes a powerful novel of high stakes virtual reality and its very real consequences.
Creating an impeccably realized setting as well as fully nuanced characters, Ms. Asaro fashions a riveting, cutting-edge tale of romance and suspense that may very well reflect the future.

Lucia del Mar has always needed to dance. From a small New Mexico community, she has risen to the top of her chosen profession and has even performed at the White House. There she meets the enigmatic Rashid al-Jazari, and from the very beginning sparks fly between them.

It is not until her ballet company is playing in Sicily that Lucia meets Rashid again. But their first attempts to establish a relationship are violently interrupted when they are kidnapped and taken to northern Africa by a band of terrorists. Escape, however, turns out to be more perilous than captivity as Islamic custom forces them to marry in order to travel together to safety.

They journey to his home in Morocco, where Lucia will discover just why Rashid, a computer genius, is a hunted man and the target of assassins. Can she also discover a way to bridge their two very different cultures to find happiness together?

(Jan., 368 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer