Dram and Orion have survived the tunnels of Outpost Five, but they find life on the other side of the dangerous flash curtain just as deadly.
Determined to maintain the safe haven of Alara for Naturals, the Congress has assigned members of the three mutant races to the deadly task of acquiring flash dust. Subpars, with their limited immunity to radiation, are forced into the mines. Conjies—Conjurers—who can wield magic, are used sparingly or have their hands taken to ensure their compliance. The Gems, with their genetic modifications, are the most diverse. But members of all three groups are forced to serve or be sacrificed to the flash curtain. Orion is determined to bring down the evil government, but when Dram is taken from her and she is isolated belowground, all seems lost. But then Orion discovers her hidden talent, and everything changes. Readers unfamiliar with Flashfall (2016) will be hopelessly lost, but fans of the unique post-apocalyptic story will be riveted by the blistering pacing and unexpected twists. Diversity in this world is less about skin color or ethnicity and more about mutations. Though the writing is smoother in this volume, it’s still hampered by odd pacing and dropped narrative threads.
An intriguing follow-up. (Science fiction. 13-16)