Killashandra Ree, expert Crystal Singer (miner) of the planet Ballybran, is tempted to take a working vacation on planet Optheria, where the reverberating white crystal she has cut must be used to repair a sabotaged music synthesizer for the upcoming annual festival. Optheria turns out to be a severely repressive planet, run by a committee of rigid old men whose grip on power is fierce and unrelenting, and who have evolved elaborate methods of preventing their citizens from leaving the planet. Soon after her arrival, Killashandra is abducted by handsome, rascally Lars Dahl, a secret anti-committee resistance worker. Abandoned by Lars on a desert island, Killashandra swims to a larger, populated island, where soon Lars shows up--and fails to recognize her; they become passionate lovers. Later, Killashandra agrees to help Lars expose Optheria's great evil: the synthesizers are actually illegal subliminal projectors used by the committee to keep the population docile and receptive. So, aided by fellow crystal guild member Trag (he was sent to investigate Killashandra's disappearance) and Lars, Killashandra repairs the synthesizer while covertly destroying the hidden subliminal projectors. Finally, Lars, after a few mishaps, becomes a Crystal Singer, joins Killashandra on Ballybran, and everyone lives happily ever after. Decorative work, then, but uncompellingly paced, very poorly orchestrated, and with a generally makeshift air--and much will remain mysterious if you haven't read Crystal Singer (mass-market paperback only), to which this is a sequel. Issuing this hardback follow-up to a paperback-only opener--an obvious cash-in on McCaffrey's recent bestsellerdom--is guaranteed to annoy the fans, who will probably manage to restrain their impatience until the paperback comes out.