In this followup to Persona, Valentine launches readers immediately into her fraught world of futuristic international politics in another taut, highly cerebral thriller. The tone and pacing of this book are much different than the first, relying heavily on body language and subtle inferences as characters operate in secret, hiding as much from each other as from their audience, guaranteeing that readers will be kept guessing until the end. Valentine uses her impeccable worldbuilding and fascinating characters to make a penetrating study of power and corruption, elevating this novel into a searching commentary that deserves to be savored.
One year after surviving an attempt on her life, International Assembly delegate Suyana Sapaki has learned how to manipulate the media and her colleagues, crafting an impenetrable public persona and launching her career on the world stage — but keeping all her secrets safe is dangerous work. Daniel Park has been following Suyana for a year, hoping for a scoop, and hoping to glimpse the woman he worked with a year earlier — a woman who seems to have vanished. But as the danger around them mounts, will Daniel risk his career to shelter Suyana, or his life to help her? (SAGA, Jul., 336 pp., $24.99)