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by Andre Norton & Sherwood Smith

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-85919-8
Publisher: Tor

Another adventure, and a new collaboration, for the trading ship Solar Queen (Redline the Stars, with P.M. Griffin, 1993), whose crew survives intact from the previous volume--though ship's medic Rael Cofort has shed her "wonder woman" image and settled down among equals. As the Solar Queen, desperately short of fuel, hurtles out of hyperspace, it nearly crashes into an abandoned vessel; Captain Jellico decides to tow the derelict to the space habitat Harmonious Exchange and claim salvage rights. But the authorities at Exchange--it's run mostly by the alien Kanddoyds--seem disinclined to cooperate: They won't divulge information about the previous owners, for one thing, and Solar Queen's crew soon discover elements of a conspiracy whose function is to hijack lone vessels. Finding allies among the outcasts of Exchange, many of whom are indirect victims of hijackers, and menaced by huge alien Shver cops who tend to shoot first and ask questions later, Captain Jellico and others must discover who's behind the conspiracy before the bad guys can cover their tracks and strike back. A brisk, well-turned, agreeable adventure; fans of Norton's Witch World and other fantasies might find it a worthwhile change of scenery.