As the last remnants of humanity search for a new home, two very different women become cybernetic weapons to protect the Fleet from rising rebellion.
In the Seventh District of a highly stratified Fleet, 17-year-old Aisha Un-Haad cannot provide for her two younger siblings, one deathly ill, without taking drastic measures. She has no choice but to be transformed into a Scela, a mechanically enhanced, networked weapon. Eighteen-year-old Key Tanaka awakens from Scela modification surgery with no recollection of why she would abandon her previous life of luxury in the First District and is determined to excel, for her own sake and in hopes of recovering her memory. But as Aisha and Key, along with fellow trainees Woojin Lih and Praava Ganes, uncover more about the Fleet and the rebel Fractionists, they find themselves entangled in the conflict and must balance loyalty to the Fleet with the survival of humanity. Skrutskie (Edge of the Abyss, 2017, etc.) presents a space odyssey of diverse representation told in dual perspectives between Aisha and Key, two women of color, with clarity and precision. Aisha identifies as aromantic and asexual, and her Ledic religion appears to be derived from Islam, with some similar rituals and symbols, which affects her worldview and how she is treated. Woojin is pansexual.
An engaging narrative with a complex cast that intersects race, sexual identity, religion, and class. (Science fiction. 12-17)