THE NATURE OF SMOKE by Anne Harris

THE NATURE OF SMOKE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Sometime in the next century, Magnolia flees from a hopeless existence in the slums of Detroit. In New York, she's picked up by the weaselly Dano and almost becomes the victim of a snuff broadcast; but, turning the tables on Dano, she stabs him and escapes. The broadcast is observed by megalomaniac scientist Dr. Remus Rahul, who steers Magnolia into his organization, hoping to use her as a template for a line of superior android ``robots.'' Instead, unknown to Rahul, she ends up in his secret complex in Siberia, where she discovers Tumcari, a half-human aquatic creature created by Rahul and researcher Cid (she becomes Magnolia's lover). Cid learns that Tumcari's cellular mitochondria somehow communicate with one another, even when separated from his body, giving him remarkable new abilities. Eventually, Rahul discovers both Magnolia's whereabouts and Cid's experiments, and the two flee to Amsterdam. Here, all the characters converge in a sort of chaotic strange attraction; many become infected with the virus that Cid has developed to spread the communicating mitochondria that offer an ecstatic gestalt communion. An exciting and encouraging debut--flawed, furious, fizzing with ideas, and with a plot that bangs and crashes like boxcars in a switching yard.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-85286-X
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1996




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