Madeline Landry, the daughter of one of the richest and most powerful noble houses of a nuclear future, hopes to empower society's weakest without endangering her own wealth and comfort.
In the month since Madeline's seen her cruel father banished (Landry Park, 2014), peace seems further than ever. The wealthy Uprisen loathe Madeline's willingness to work with the Rootless—the de facto enslaved class forced to handle spent uranium. The short-lived Rootless, on the other hand, have no trust for Madeline's slow-moving moderation. As if that weren't enough, some dastardly villain keeps artistically murdering Uprisen in Madeline's ancestral home. The very model of Martin Luther King’s white moderate, “paternalistically believing she can set the timetable” for the Rootless' freedom, Madeline is a bundle of contradictions. She's unendingly concerned with the styles and fabrics used in her clothing while primly mocking those interested in "fashion and celebrity gossip." Unwilling to risk her ancestral home, she begs for order while the police rampage through the Rootless ghetto. Though she knows the Rootless live in starvation, she wants to "convince them it will be better to wait" while she attends endless dinners of "seared bluefin tuna," "bacon-flecked spinach," and "lamb with mint sauce." Poor little Madeline, who laments that being a pale-skinned redhead among the darker Uprisen makes her "different."
Even the requisite romance is drowned in florid prose and uneven characterization. (Science fiction. 13-15)