In this debut sci-fi novel, two young women in different corners of a faraway solar system learn a secret that might save the fate of the human race.
Aliya Soter has always known that she wasn’t born on the slave planet on which she lives, but her knowledge of her past consists mainly of a few mementos of her late parents. When a man named Olundar Cicatrix appears during a slave rebellion with information about her past, she begins to uncover the tyrannical Western Empire’s secret, which her parents died trying to expose. If she wants to finish what her parents started, however, she must first stand up as a leader in the budding revolution. Far away, Miriam Ferox, the protégé of well-known academic researcher and businessman Hadrian Sapiens, has wanted to bring down the Empress since she was 9, and she recently found the very information that could do so—but she doesn’t realize it until Empire vessels attack her ship. There’s only one reason the Empire would come after her science vessel: to destroy the data onboard. Miriam risks her life to save the information, but that’s just the beginning of her struggle. Scott’s debut novel, the first in a planned series, explores issues such as class, oppression and the nature of freedom, drawing from classic sci-fi and other literature as it relates its story in elegant prose (“The city…was shivering with movement, thousands of aircraft weaving through the spires”). The story’s numerous supporting characters may be hard for readers to keep track of at first, but the beautifully developed women at its center more than make up for such difficulty. Although Miriam’s story is a bit slow at first, she ultimately becomes a complex, compelling character whose story is certain to grab readers’ attention.
A poignant tale of revolution that’s much more than mere space opera.