This last volume of the Above World trilogy opens where Mirage (2013) ended, with Aluna, Hoku, Dash and Calli determined to save their genetically modified races from megalomaniac Karl Strand and his technically enhanced Upgrader army.
Masquerading as Upgraders with Aluna and Calli pretending to be their prisoners, Hoku, an ocean-dwelling Kampii, and Dash, a desert-dwelling Equian, join an unsuspecting Upgrader kludge to find Strand. When they are captured by Silvae—flying squirrel–like tree dwellers—and separated from the kludge, Aluna, Hoku, Dash and Calli split to fight Strand on different fronts. Dash rejoins the kludge, hoping to rescue his Equian relatives captured by Strand. Calli returns to the Aviars, who are under attack from Strand’s army. Aluna and Hoku join their Kampii families in the ocean, still trying to find Strand and devise new breathing devices. The four friends use individual strengths forged through their time together to help their respective races while staying committed to the common goal of defeating Strand. Aluna remains a compelling warrior, and Hoku, Dash and Calli come into their own as the fast-paced action ricochets back and forth, culminating in a colossal confrontation with Strand.
A fitting finale for a gripping futurist series whose four multifaceted heroes offer a strong anti-war, pro-diversity message. (Science fiction. 10-16)