Another cerebral SF novel from the author of Eye of the Comet. In all her 15 years, Nita has seen only the large, catlike alien who raised her. She has neither seen another human being nor gone outside the grounds of the Institute. Then she meets Sven, who was raised nearby by a similar alien. Together, they discover that the Earth was emptied of people by a nuclear and biological war, and that they were accidentally produced when the exploring aliens found an old embryo bank. After a brief exploratory trip, they decide to use the bank to create a New Humanity. Except for Nita, with her hair-trigger temper, the characters display little individual personality, speak woodenly, and behave inconsistently (the two young humans agonize over their ancestors' violence; but when they find weapons and accidentally kill a bird, they don't give it a second thought). In Eye, lengthy philosophical musings were balanced by a strong story; here, the conflict, challenge, and resolution are weak and routine.